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Slaughter of the Jews 

In the Ukraine 

In 1919 





Copyright, 1921, 
By Thomas Seltzer, Inc. 

All Rights Reserved 

Printed in the United States of America 


The basis of this book is material gathered by dele- 
gates of the All-Ukrainian Relief Committee for the 
Victims of Pogroms, under the auspices of the Red 
Cross, of which committee I was the chairman. 

Our aim was not only to supply money, food and 
clothing to the victims, render medical aid to the 
wounded and mutilated, and take care of the orphaned 
children; it was also to investigate to determine the 
true character of the events and ascertain the circum- 
stances in which they occurred. Besides administer- 
ing relief, our representatives, in accordance with a 
plan worked out by the Central Information Depart- 
ment of the committee, made careful investigations, 
questioning witnesses of all descriptions, the sufferers 
themselves, onlookers, and men in official or public 
positions. In large centres like Kiev and Yekaterino- 
slav, to which refugees from numerous pogrom- 
stricken localities streamed, special bureaus were es- 
tablished for the purpose of taking down the testimony 
of the refugees. Sometimes, when the pogrom was 
large and complicated in its character, our committee 
delegates called conferences of all public and party 
organizations of the place, in order to determine the 
social and political causes of the pogrom and the mo- 
tives animating the participants, as well as to gather 
all possible details. The conferees were able, through 
personal observation and material at their disposal, to 
clear up obscurities, throw light on all aspects of the 




situation, and make corrections and addenda to reports 
presented at the meetings. Examples of documents 
resulting from such conferences are the protocols with 
their appendices given in the Appendix to this book on 
the pogroms in Uman (pp. 316-336) and Dubovo (pp. 

The material gathered at each place testimony of 

witnesses , documents, photographs was sent to the 
Central Information Department in Kiev, where it 
was classified and sifted by experts. What seemed of 
dubious veracity or did not coincide with other evi- 
dence was rejected. Nothing but verified matter was 
included in our summary. 

In some cases of pogroms on a large scale special 
investigators, persons with a thorough legal training, 
were sent to the scene of the events, who supplemented 
evidence already to hand by securing documents and 
examining new witnesses. Material thus gathered was 
embodied in volumes sometimes numbering several hun- 
dred pages, to which the investigator later, in his sum- 
marized report, would refer, citing the page and num- 
ber of the volume in the case, as, for instance, the 
reports of the well-known lawyer, Mr. A. I. Hiller- 
son, on the pogroms in Ovruch (see Appendix, pp. 
185 ff.) and in Proskurov (see Appendix, pp. 202 ff.), 
who substantiated his statements by exact references 
(as on pp. 208, 209, 210 and elsewhere). 

Owing to the various war fronts in the Ukraine 
and the internal state of civil war, we were prevented 
from gathering material for all the pogroms. Never- 
theless, the facts brought to light through the self- 
sacrificing efforts of our representatives are quite suffi- 
cient for a thoroughly grounded analysis, social and 
political, of the Jewish tragedy in the Ukraine in 


1919. And as our committee was a Red Cross organi- 
zation with non-political aims, the work of investiga- 
tion was carried on in an utterly impartial spirit. 

Most of the material at my disposal appears in the 
Appendix, some of it in the text. The book repre- 
sents my personal conclusions drawn from the material 
and from my observations of the stormy events in the 

It is more than a year now since the ghastly events 
described in this book took place. But the year 1919 
did not see the end of them. The bloody tide over- 
flowed the boundaries of the Ukraine, and horrors were 
enacted elsewhere that not only equalled but even sur- 
passed the Ukrainian atrocities. And in the Ukraine 
itself reaction kept up its gory carnival. The events 
of 1920 only corroborate the findings in the present 
book, namely, that reaction uses the massacre of the 
Jews as a method for political warfare. 

In conclusion I wish to express my gratitude to all 
my fellow-workers on the Relief Committee. My in- 
debtedness to them is twofold for the moral satis-, 
faction of work done together in aid of the wretched 
victims of the pogroms and for the stupendous, tireless 
work of gathering the evidence that has made possible 
the writing of this summary. I must make special 
mention of those who stood closest to me in the work : 
Dr. P. I. Rosenthal (Anman), Dr. F. E. Lander, Mr. 
L. V. Fraenkel, Mr. S. Y. Heifetz, Dr. L. N. Heller, 
Mr. A. I. Hillerson, and Mr. Isaac Gutermann. 


NEW YORK, December 20, 1920. 


















OTHERS . 243 


THE terrible Jewish massacres in the Ukraine in the 
year 1919, which set the whole land aflame, can not be 
compared with the pogroms in the eighties and during 
the first decade of our century. The latter form, in 
essence and scope, a chapter in themselves. The tsar- 
ist regime endeavored to divert the attention of the 
socially and politically discontented masses in another 
direction, the direction of least resistance. This they 
did by inciting the ignorant and intimidated lower 
classes against the defenseless Jews, who, they alleged, 
were responsible for the misery of the people. The 
Jews were represented as the exploiters of the people, 
as leeches, who sucked the blood of the peasant and 
robbed him of the fruits of his economic activity. 
Later, when the elemental forces of the revolution 
burst forth and whipped the waves of passion into 
high fury, the Jews were depicted by the agents of 
tsarism before the lowest classes of the people as the 
"leaders of unrest and rebellion, who were rising 
against the Fatherland and the 'Little Father* (the 
tsar)." The Jewish pogroms coincide with the criti- 
cal moments of the then regime and follow in scope 
and intensity a course parallel to that of the revolution. 

The pogroms of the eighties correspond to the revo- 



lutionary movement of the intelligentzia organized 
as "Narodniki" ("Zemlya i Volya," "Narodnaya 
Volya"). Those in the beginning of our century, to 
the time of the first revolution ( 1903-1905 ) corres- 
pond to the great revolutionary strikes in the south of 
Russia. Finally, the third pogrom wave, which came 
right after the revolution (end of 1905 and 1906), 
corresponds to the outbreak of the first revolution it- 
self. The aim of the pogroms in the eighties was 
mainly the destruction of Jewish possessions. There 
was robbery and plunder, down and feathers were 
scattered to the wind, furniture was broken to pieces, 
valuables and money were taken away. In many 
cases women were violated, men beaten, but "with 
moderation," not to death. The pogroms, however, in 
Kishinev (1903), Gomel (1903) and Zhitomir (April, 
1905), already began to assume a bloody course. Jews 
were murdered, the victims numbered many dozens. 
After the revolution (1905 and 1906) the pogroms 
expanded both in space and in time, with about a 
thousand victims. The organizing activity of the 
lower and middle administrative officers was clearly 
visible, as was shown in the judicial investiga- 
tions. The parliamentary commission of the first 
imperial Duma, the revelations of the former active 
minister of internal affairs, Prince Urussov, and of the 
former director of the police department, Lopuchin, 
confirmed what was generally known, that the threads 
of the entire pogrom propaganda were held together in 
the hands of the highest representatives of the state 
force, the all powerful minister of internal affairs and 
the director of the police. They determined the places 
where pogrom dramas were to be enacted, and gave 
proper instructions to the local authorities. 


The pogroms of the tsarist period took place almost 
exclusively in the south, in the Ukraine, and particu- 
larly in the Ukrainian cities. The large Ukrainian 
cities like Kiev, Odessa, and Yekaterinoslav formed 
favorable grounds for anti-Jewish agitation by reason 
of the great wealth and economic activity, the accentu- 
ated class differences and the numerous tramp class 
existing in those places. The officials and the profes- 
sional classes (teachers, clergy, partly also the profes- 
sors) in the southern cities were almost exclusively on 
the side of the Black Hundred. The central govern- 
ment took great care to see that all those who were in 
their service were thoroughly "reliable," i.e., that they 
were in complete accord with the reactionary politics 
of the central government and carried out their orders 
in their several localities. 

The pogroms of the tsarist period were almost 
exclusively confined to the cities. There were none in 
the Ukrainian villages. Insurrection, robbery and vio- 
lence were done by the city hoodlums in the larger 
centers. Not so the massacres in the year 1919. Here 
the Ukrainian village played the main role, the Ukrain- 
ian peasants, the bands of military insurgents as well 
as the more or less organized bands of insurrectionists. 
The wave rolled from the village to the city and in con- 
centric circles embraced the whole land. But the vil- 
lage occupied the center. The impulse and the radii 
proceeded from the village. The urban crowd played a 
subordinate role, and merely participated, actively to 
be sure, in the events. Large cities like Odessa and 
Kiev (before the invasion of Denikin) were over- 
whelmed by this wave, which spread over about 700 
localities and almost annihilated the entire Jewish pop- 
ulation in the Ukrainian villages and districts. 


This is not the first time in the history of the 
Ukrainian Jews that they had to suffer from perse- 
cution. Twice before have they been the object of 
horrible attacks and cruel murder, in the times of the 
Ukrainian period of storm and stress when the peas- 
ants rose against their Polish oppressors. 

The Jews settled in Ukrainia at the end of the six- 
teenth century. The emigrants from Lithuania and 
Poland found here uncultivated land and sparsely 
populated villages. Gradually there grew up cities, 
castles and settlements. The Polish nobility attracted 
as colonists the petty nobility, the serfs and also the 
Jews as a class engaged in commerce and industry. 
Thanks to the Jewish spirit of enterprise there soon 
developed an extremely energetic commercial activity. 
The greatest variety of industries, the production of 
nitric acid and potash, fishing and hunting as well as 
the liquor business were in the hands of the Jews. 
Only a very small part of the Jews were rich. Accord- 
ing to the investigations of Berschadski (Die litau- 
schen Juden), the commercial and credit operations 
of the great majority of the Jews must be measured in 
dozens of rubles, and consisted merely in the granting 
of small loans to the peasants, the poorer middle class 
and the Tartars. But this is not all. The operations 
were carried on with the moneys which they themselves 
borrowed from the Christian clergy, nobility and 
poorer middle class. Often they borrowed this capital 
by pledging household articles, even body linen. 

Is it true that the Jewish masses were guilty of abus- 
ing the Christian population ? The Ukrainian historian 
Ivan Franko, points out that the sources of the 
Khmelnitzky period say nothing about the accusations 
that were later brought against the Jews, such as 


putting mortgages on the churches. "The unfair prac- 
tices of the Jews, so far as there were such," says 
Franko, "are insignificant as compared with the abuses 
committed by the Polish government and the Polish 
military." To be sure, the Cossack population did not 
investigate with any degree of care as to who was 
really responsible for their enslavement. When the 
Ukrainian population rose in rebellion, with Khmeln- 
itzky at their head, and freed themselves from the 
chains of political and economic enslavement, they 
swept away not only the lords, but also their agents, 
the Jews, who were their leaseholders and tenant 
farmers. The events of the years 1648-1658 with 
their heroes, Krivonos, Ganai, Morosenko, Timofei 
(son of Bogdan Khmelnitzky) , Koloda and others, 
cost the Ukrainian Jews, according to the careful com- 
putations of Sabbatai Cohen, about 100,000 lives 
(the "Chronicler" speaks of a half million.) Several 
hundred Jewish settlements were completely des- 

One hundred years later, the Ukraine was again the 
scene of insurrections. The Gaidamaks (this was 
the name of the insurrectionary Cossack bands in the 
1 8th century) were no whit inferior in savage cruelty 
to the Cossack rebels under Bogdan Khmelnitzky. All 
the hatred that had accumulated up to that time on ac- 
count of the political and economic enslavement ot the 
people (introduction of serfdom, persecution of their 
faith, cruel practices of the administration, by state 
authorities as well as landed proprietors) was let loose 
in this moment. As formerly under Khmelnitzky, so a 
hundred years later, when the Jewish tenant farmer, 
the "inevitable attendant of the Polish lord" and the 
executor of his will in relation to the village, had again 


settled down, the fury of the peasants once more was 
directed against him. The rebellion of 1734 under 
the leadership of Griva adopted the following motto, 
"It is permitted to plunder the Jews and kill the Po- 

In the forties of the eighteenth century, the "leader 
and great Hetman of the Gaidamak troops/' Wasski 
Washchilo, shows clearly in his proclamation that the 
purpose of the rebellion was to destroy the Jewish peo- 
ple for the protection of Christianity. "Guided by 
zeal for the holy Christian religion, and anxious that 
the anger of the Lord for all these crimes may not fall 
upon innocent persons, I have decided, so far as it lies 
in my power, together with other good people who love 
Christianity, to exterminate the accursed Jewish peo- 
ple. I have already with God's help killed the Jews in 
the communities of Krichev and Propoisk, and 
although the Jews succeeded in having government 
troops sent against me, the just God gave me his pro- 
tection in all cases. Trusting in the grace of God, I 
shall bring to end this holy war against the traitors." 
^ The year 1767 in which the insurrection under 
Zhelezniak and Gonta took place was pregnant with 
fate for the Jews. A terrible massacre of the Jews 
took place at Uman. There were also excesses against 
the Jews in Fastov, Granov, Zhivotov, Tulchin and 

According to the reports of eye witnesses, 50,000 to 
60,000 Jews lost their lives at the time of the Gaida- 

A hundred and fifty years had passed since then. 

*The data of the pogroms under Khmelnitzky and the Gaida- 
maks are taken from the 1st volume of "History of the Jews in 
Russia," Moscow, 1914. 


The Ukrainian village became quiet again and found 
its equilibrium. It cost the Jews in Ukrainia much toil 
and labor to re-establish their economic existence. 
Now as before the village population dealt principally 
with the Jewish merchant and middleman, coming 
very rarely in contact with the poor Jewish popula- 
tion, the manual laborers. In the mind of the village 
people the Jew still occupied an intermediate place, 
"between the working people on the one hand and the 
landlords and rich cities on the other," being essentially 
nearer to the latter than to the former. The historical 
I antipathy to the Jew remained, but there was no hatred. 
The Jew was merely distrusted as a stranger and the 
Ukrainian villagers, blessed with the craftiness of the 
peasant, showed contempt for the Jewish middleman 
and inhabitant of the city. Nevertheless peaceful and 
neighborly relations developed between the Jew and the 
Ukrainian peasants, which suffered no change during 
the last four decades of Russian rule. Jews who 
lost their entire possessions and most of their relatives 
in the fearful storms of 1919, testify unanimously that 
in a great number of cities and districts, peaceful and 
neighborly relations had existed between the Ukrainian 
peasants and the Jews, and in some cases they were 
very friendly to one another. 

These neighborly relations were somewhat disturbed 
during the German occupation. The well-being of the 
population both Christian and Jewish had increased 
considerably. It was the time of unlimited specula- 
tion in goofis and money, of smuggling in and out of 
Soviet Russia and the neutral zone. The peasants, 
however, could not increase their earnings in the same 
measure as the others. The products of the land were 
taken from them by force, at low prices, and carried 


to Germany. On the basis of exaggerated reports of 
"the wealth of the Jews," there developed among the 
peasants a feeling of envy and a desire for city 
products (manufactured goods, shoes), of which 
there was nothing in the Ukrainian village, rumor hav- 
ing it that the Jews in the larger centers enjoyed a 
superfluity of such things. 

The anti-Jewish sentiment came to the fore in the 
Ukrainian village at the time when the Soviet govern- 
ment took the helm. This government is in the eyes 
of the peasants a foreign importation from Moscow. 
The well-to-do peasant of the Ukrainian village is op- 
posed to communistic tendencies. Besides, being a 
landlord in possession of the soil which he regards as 
his consecrated and inviolable property, he sees in the 
Soviet government principally a fiscal power, which 
requisitions his grain and other agricultural products 
at maximum prices, paying for them in worthless little 
papers. A tenacious and obstinate fight arose between 
the Ukrainian village and the Soviet government. The 
Soviet government brought for the first time into the 
village the Jewish official, as a representative of the 
state power. Under the tsar the law did not allow the 
Jews to hold any state or public office. At the time of 
the Provisional Government the whole power was actu- 
ally in the hands of the central Rada, under which all 
local posts were held by Ukrainians, usually represen- 
tatives of the local population. Under the Soviet 
regime, on the other hand, Jews also were govern- 
ment representatives, holding central as well as 
local offices. In districts where the Jews formed the 
majority of the population, a large number of Jews 
belonged to the executive committee. The mere fact 
that besides the Jewish middleman there was also a 


Jewish representative of the state force called forth a 
feeling of hostility on the part of the Ukrainian peas- 
ant. The Jew whom he was accustomed to look down 
upon and to treat with contempt, suddenly stood be- 
fore him as the possessor of power, demanding re- 
spect. In addition, this same Jew appeared as the rep- 
resentative of a government foreign to the village and 
the object of its hatred. As a result the peasant be- 
came suspicious of the entire Jewish population, re- 
garding all the Jews without exception as members of 
the Soviet regime, which enabled them to exercise 
power against the Christian population. The idea took 
firm root in his mind that the Jewish nation was en- 
deavoring to dominate over the Christian peasant. In 
the later pogroms this attitude found expression in the 
words, "What! You want to rule over us?" The 
Ukrainian peasant had a tendency to impute to the 
Jewish commissars and generally to the whole Jewish 
population in the neighboring towns and districts all 
the sins committed against him by the new regime 
(requisitioning, mobilization, barrage troops, execu- 
tons by order of the extraordinary commissions). 

The traditional feeling of distrust and suspicion of 
the Jew was excited and fostered by the above men- 
tioned social and political factors. 

There is still, however, a great gulf between the 
vague feelings of envy, contempt, even hatred, and 
those cruel acts perpetrated upon the Jews in the 
Ukrainian massacres. To bridge it an external force 
was necessary, which compelled the peaceful peasants 
to overcome their moral and other inhibitions, aroused 
the slumbering instincts of destruction and hate, gave 
to the whole complex of vague feelings and senti- 
ments a political form and instilled it into the minds of 


the peasants by anti- Jewish agitation. For this pur- 
pose it was necessary to accuse the Jews as such of 
exploitation of labor and speculation, to represent them 
as "bourgeois" and at the same time to brand them as 
advocates of the Soviet power and of communism, so 
as to organize the peasants and push them in a definite 
direction. Under the influence of this force came the 
peasant avalanche, continually increasing in scope, 
moving faster and faster and burying under it tens of 
thousands of Ukrainian Jews. 

This force which played so momentous a role in the 
history of Ukrainian Jewry, a force which for the 
first time in our revolutionary epoch made use of Jew- 
ish massacres as a political weapon, against the Soviet 
enemy, is represented by the later leaders and political 
heads of the Ukrainian People's Republic. They took 
the same bloody course that was followed later by the 
Russian reaction of the Denikin regime and the vol- 
unteer army. Not all at once but gradually, step by 
step and at critical moments, did they begin to take up 
the method of pogroms. First they addressed threats 
to the Jewish leaders, warning them of the people's 
wrath in case they did not exert the proper influence on 
the Jewish masses. Then followed the actual applica- 
tion of the method in question, first in the form of 
organized excesses and demonstrations, and then at the 
most critical moment in the form of a systematic and 
uninterrupted series of organized blood baths and hor- 
rible devastations. Forced back by the Soviet govern- 
ment to the frontier of the Ukraine, the leaders of the 
Ukrainian Republic, as represented by the Directory 
and its responsible agents, never again let go of this 
bloody weapon by which they expected to secure vic- 


The history of the Jewish pogroms in the Ukraine 
is closely connected with the political history of the 
country, and cannot be separated from it. It seems 
necessary, therefore, to keep in mind the main factors 
of the revolutionary movement in the Ukraine, and to 
determine the dividing line between the popular move- 
ment of the Ukrainians and the Jewish socialistic 
parties. This division, accompanied by military de- 
feats, already carried in itself the germ of the ap- 
proaching massacres. 

The March revolution exposed in sharp outline all 
the problems of Russian life, including the problem of 
nationality. The autocratic tsar held all the nation- 
alities inhabiting the several parts of the empire in 
slavery. Their endeavors to develop their national 
culture were exposed to persecution. Every attempt 
to attain even the most modest share of autonomy was 
regarded as a revolt against the highest authority and 
was rigorously suppressed. 

With the outbreak of the revolution strong national- 
istic movements began in certain parts of the former 
empire. The opposing forces made themselves felt. 
The nationalistic element came to the fore every- 
where, especially in the large border states, Finland 
and the Ukraine. The Provisional Government tried 
to evade the problem as well as it could. In its de- 
pendence upon the Russian bourgeoisie, especially upon 
the party of the Constitutional Democrats (Cadets) 
which represented them in their efforts to create a 
"united, strong and great Russia," it saw in the 
nationalistic movement the danger of secession of the 
border states. The Provisional Government was re- 
solved not to weaken the economic power of the great 
Russian bourgeoisie by showing a pliable temper, nor 


to weaken Russia while the imperialistic world war was 
raging. It, therefore, postponed the .solution of 
the problem "until the calling of the Constitutional 
Assembly," which was again and again postponed to 
a later date. The nationalistic movement burst forth 
with the fury of a storm. Its waves rose higher and 
higher. The Provisional Government was compelled to 
recognize it and meet it step by step. In the Ukraine 
a representative body was formed, the Central Rada 
composed of all socialist parties, which controlled 
the political life of the country and created out of itself 
the national secretariat as an executive organ. 

To bring about peaceful relations between the Pro- 
visional Government and the Central Rada, the two 
ministers Zeretelli and Tereschenko came from Petro- 
grad to Kiev, and actually succeeded for a time in 
reconciling the nationalistic aspirations of the Ukraine 
with the wavering and restraining tendencies of the 
Provisional Government. They recognized the right 
of the Ukraine to a considerable degree of autonomy. 
But they would not accept a federative structure of 
the Russian State. 

The Central Rada based its hopes and claims upon 
the enormous majority of the Ukrainian village, upon 
the nationalistically minded intelligentzia of the 
cities as well as upon parts of the urban lower middle 
class. The Rada became, therefore, an important 
political power, maintaining its independence of the 
Russian Provisional Government, which had not the 
slightest influence in the Ukraine. 

The Ukrainian great-bourgeoisie is composed of rep- 
resentatives of foreign nationalities (Russians, Jews, 
Poles). They were opposed to the Central Rada be- 
cause they saw in it a power destructive to the integ- 


rity of the "Russian Empire." Without attacking 
them seriously in the sphere of social politics, the Cen- 
tral Rada paid very little attention to the great-bour- 
geoisie, and on the other hand showed itself more defi- 
nite and determined than the Russian Provisional 
Government in respect to such cardinal questions of 
the Revolution as the question of the land and the 
tei/mination of the war. 

The Central Rada did not take its support from the 
working population of the cities. The urban work- 
men did not entirely trust the Central Rada because 
they saw in it mainly representatives of the inter- 
ests of the middle peasants of the Ukrainian vil- 
lage. Nationally, too, the working classes were not 
at one with the Rada, consisting as they did for the 
most part of Russians, Poles and Jews. The Ukrainian 
Soviet delegates were in their general standpoint 
nearer to the Russian Central Committee of the Soviet 
labor delegates than to the Central Rada. Neverthe- 
less the workmen as a class and the Jewish workmen 
in particular supported the Central Rada in their en- 
deavors after national autonomy, which would make 
possible an unrestricted cultural and social develop- 
ment of the Ukrainian forces, without, however, break- 
ing with the All-Russian revolution. 

The Jewish Labor Bund often played the role of 
mediator between the Ukrainian national movement 
and the Russian revolutionary democracy. The Jew- 
ish workmen and laborers, the support of the Jewish 
socialistic parties, were afraid of the extravagances of 
the Bolshevistic rule and saw in the Central Rada a 
power greater than the Provisional Government. Be- 
sides the Central Rada was in its political structure a 
democratic force, which at the same time guaranteed 


the cultural needs of the national minorities by the law 
of autonomy in the sphere of national culture. Repre- 
sentatives of the Jewish socialistic party belonged to 
the Secretariat (Council of Ministers) of the Central 

The tendency of the Central Rada to favor separa- 
tion from Russia forced the Jewish parties into oppo- 
sition. The Jewish Labor Bund abstained from vot- 
ing on the third manifesto ("Universal"), which 
opened wide the doors to the separatist tendencies of the 
Ukrainian movement. This resulted in the recall of the 
socialistic representatives in the Secretariat. A criti- 
cal moment in the relations between the Jewish social- 
istic parties and the Central Rada was on the occasion 
of carrying out the fourth manifesto, which proclaimed 
the "independence" of the Ukraine, denoting a com- 
plete break with Soviet Russia. 

The fourth manifesto was really called forth by the 
pressure of German imperialism upon Soviet Russia. 
It meant for the Ukraine a separate peace with Ger- 
many at the expense of Russia, and a protection against 
the danger of the Soviet. The manifesto was regarded 
with disfavor by the Ukrainian proletariat, because 
they could not reconcile themselves to an economic, 
political and moral separation from Russia. Moreover 
the proletariat sensed in the fourth manifesto a tend- 
ency to reaction externally (union with Germany) as 
well as internally. The lower middle class circles in 
the cities were opposed to the manifesto for similar 
reasons. Fear of Bolshevism lamed their activity. 
Nevertheless their attitude to the new ways upon which 
the national movement had entered was negative. The 
fourth manifesto repelled the socialistic parties of the 
Ukrainian cities from the Central Rada. The latter 


continued to find support in the broad stratum of the 
great and middle peasants, who were only loosely con- 
nected with the Russian revolution and for the time 
being had no serious economic interests in the war- 
exhausted cities in general or in the Russian Soviet 
cities in particular. 

In the debate on the fourth manifesto in the Cen- 
tral Rada, the Jewish labor parties spoke against it. 
The mere appearance on the platform of the well- 
known leader of the Bund, Liber, who was to speak in 
the name of the Jewish Labor Bund, called forth a 
storm of indignation. He was regarded as an advocate 
of centralization and an opponent of the Ukrainian 
national movement. The Jewish Labor Bund voted 
against the manifesto. The united Jewish socialistic 
party and the labor party of the Poale Zion abstained 
from voting, but expressed themselves in strong criti- 
cism of the manifesto. 

After the proclamation of the fourth manifesto by 
the Central Rada, the question of political strikes was 
raised in the council of labor delegates. In spite of 
their negative attitude toward the fourth manifesto, the 
Jewish socialistic parties stood foursquare on the basis 
of the independence of the Ukraine, guided by the 
desire to remain in decided though not revolution- 
ary opposition. On the question of strikes great 
differences and friction developed among them. A 
considerable part were against the strike. The left 
wing was not definitely opposed to it but recommended 
strikes with a definite time limit. 

At this time began the first threats of the Ukrainians 
against the Jews. The purpose of these threats was 
to frighten the wavering elements among the Jews by 
calling attention to the coming retribution from the 


indignant masses, who felt that their most sacred na- 
tional feeling had been outraged. 

Martos (later the president of the council of min- 
isters), a representative, belonging to the left wing 
of the Ukrainian national movement, addressed the 
Jewish deputies from the platform to the following 
effect: "Yesterday one of your men in the council of 
labor delegates advocated the general strike. Do not 
play a double game. Say openly what you want. 
Restrain your people from such steps. We feel that 
we shall soon be unable to curb the anger and the hate 
of our people." The nationalistic agitation also was 
utilized to hold the troops in the Ukraine together by 
the anti-Jewish feeling which was common to them all. 

The general strike began. Small armed bands of 
workmen opposed the Central Rada, but were not sup- 
ported by the great masses. The strike failed. In the 
meantime Kiev was attacked by the troops of the 
Bolshevist Red Guard, who succeeded in getting pos- 
session of the city. The Central Rada removed their 
sessions from Kiev to Zhitomir. The Jewish deputies 
remained in Kiev. The Jewish socialistic parties and 
their representatives opposed the Bolsheviki most bit- 
terly. In the fight of the Jewish socialistic parties 
against the Bolsheviki, the tendency of the Jewish labor 
masses finds its expression. They emphasize not only 
their negative attitude toward the October revolution, 
but the socialistic parties advocate also the independ- 
ence of the Ukraine, and declare that the Soviet gov- 
ernment can not be regarded as the representative of 
the attitude of the Ukrainian masses, being on the con- 
trary a foreign power which came from the outside to 
conquer the Ukraine. 

The Central Rada in Zhitomir followed a nation- 


alistic and reactionary course. A new law was made 
depriving members of foreign elements, Russians and 
Jews, of the rights of Ukrainian citizenship. At the 
same time the legend was circulated in Zhitomir that 
Jews in Kiev had shot the retiring Ukrainian troops in 
the back. The withdrawal of the Ukrainian troops 
took place in the greatest haste. One military defeat 
followed upon another. The armies began to crumble 
away. To keep them together they made use of agita- 
tion against the Moscovites and especially against the 
Jews. And it was for this purpose that agents of the 
Rada spread the legend. 

The anti-Semitic agitation increased after the 
Ukraine was reconquered by the Central Rada with the 
help of German bayonets. It was necessary to find a 
scapegoat to bear the national disgrace and carry away 
on his back the anger and hate of the army and the 
peasants. The Jews were made the scapegoat, on the 
ground that they had caused the occupation of the 
Ukraine by German troops and were in the service of 
the Bolshevist government. And when Petlura on a 
white horse entered Kiev at the head of a small band 
of Gaidamaks, followed on foot by well armed and 
well disciplined German troops, the hate and desire 
for revenge of the Ukrainian soldier against the Jew 
flared up in a hot flame. The Ukrainian bands were 
met by a delegation of members of the Central Rada, 
which contained also representatives of the Ukrainian 
social democracy. The military authorities declared 
to them calmly and definitely, "Tell the Jews that we 
will get even with them." And to Rafes, a member of 
the Central Rada, they said, "We know your speeches, 
we will dispose of you and your associates." Now the 
excesses began against the Jews, the first result of 

which was the death of a few persons, mainly Jewish 

When the Central Rada returned from Zhitomir, the 
Jewish representatives resumed their activity in the 
Rada. They were received with hate, animosity and 
threats and were accused of Bolshevism without any 
reason. The only Ukrainian representatives who de- 
fended them were those who remained in Kiev during 
the Bolshevist rule. 

The excesses against the Jews continued a long 
time. Professor Grushevski, the president of the Cen- 
tral Rada, took pains to suppress the attacks. For this 
purpose he addressed himself again and again to the 
military and some of their leaders. Repeatedly he 
invited the Rada to work in common, as he pointed to 
the difficulty of the situation. Under the pressure of 
the Central Rada and the whole poltical situation (pres- 
ence of German military, who had already spoken of 
order) there were no mass pogroms. Here we see the 
most characteristic feature of the Jewish pogroms 
the moment the instigators cease to find them useful 
for their purpose, they suddenly come to a standstill. 
At the time in question a strong anti-Semitic propa- 
ganda was developed. The sentiment in favor of 
pogroms among the Ukrainian troops was genuine and 
strong. They were firmly convinced that the Jews 
were responsible for Bolshevism as well as for the 
disgrace of their country. Nevertheless the number 
of victims was very small. The military leaders who 
excited and fanned these sentiments stood under the 
influence of the causes above mentioned. They pre- 
vented an open pogrom and, what is the main thing, 
they gave no orders for a pogrom. 

The German military occupation made itself felt. 


They tried to utilize the "bread peace" to the fullest 
extent in their own interest. The Ukraine with its 
bread and its agricultural products must make it pos- 
sible for Germany to continue the war in the west. 
The whole grain was often carried off from the vil- 
lages by armed force. The villages soon realized the 
real meaning of the Force of Occupation. The Central 
Rada saw its political mistake. The representatives 
of the Ukrainian parties listened willingly to the 
speeches of the Jewish opposition against the Force of 
Occupation. The desire to liberate themselves from 
the Germans reconciled the Rada to the Jewish oppo- 
sition. But the Central Rada had played its role, 
it was scattered by German bayonets. 

The Occupation covered its domination over the 
Ukraine with the mantle of Hetman rule. The Ger- 
man military party introduced a congress of represen- 
tatives of the peasant land proprietors, the "Corn 
Peasants/' These proclaimed as head of the Ukrainian 
State, Paul Skoropadsky, a descendant of an old Het- 
man family, a hitherto little known captain of the 
tsarist regime, who had later gone over to the serv- 
ice of the Ukrainian government. The Hetman was 
an obedient figurehead in the hands of the Force of 
Occupation. He was a devoted executor of their will 
and their efforts. The white terror prevailed in the 
cities and even more on the plains of the country. 
There was a continuous descent of punitive expedi- 
tions, requisitions, money penalties. The hate against 
the Force of Occupation and the external expression of 
the German rule grew from day to day, and not in the 
village only but also in the city. At the same time the 
great defeats of the Germans on the west front and the 
growing opposition among the German soldiers weak- 


ened the power of the Force of Occupation and an- 
nounced its approaching end. The disturbances in the 
Ukrainian villages, which were kept down with the help 
of the Hetman's government troops and the German 
punitive expeditions, continued. In the cities secret 
meetings were held between the representatives of the 
Ukrainian parties of the Left and the Jewish socialistic 
parties. A complete rapproachment was not arrived at. 
The differences between them were of a radical nature. 
Mistrust was very great. The common enemy, how- 
ever, brought about an understanding and the convic- 
tion of the necessity of making common cause against 
him. The understanding, however, was not of long 
duration. The enemy was soon overcome. The politi- 
cal parties of the Ukraine who had created a new na- 
tional government, the Directory, experienced a vio- 
lent clash with the Soviet government. In this embit- 
tered fight they carried to its full development the old 
weapon of poison, anti-Semitic agitation and the sup- 
port of the organized Jewish pogroms. 


ON the ninth of November, 1918, the revolution 
broke out in Germany. The consequence was a politi- 
cal crisis in German-occupied Ukraine and a revolt 
against German domination. 

On the thirteenth of November a political general 
strike was determined upon at a general meeting of 
the Central Bureau of the Ukrainian Labor Union. 
Everywhere in the basin of the Donetz where the Aus- 
trian troops retired there was a revolt. On the fifteenth 
of November the movement began in the Government 
of Kiev, district of Tarascha. Everywhere insurgent 
bands were formed under the leadership of Makhno, 
Grigoriev and others. At the head of the movement 
was a Directory and later Petlura. Yekaterino- 
slav, Kharkov and Odessa went over to the Directory. 
On the eleventh of December Kiev was occupied. 

The rebellion of Petlura was not so much under the 
banner of nationalism as under that of Socialism and 
partly also of Bolshevism. The radical watchwords of 
the city gave expression to the general sentiment, 
particularly the desire of the villagers to obtain com- 
plete rights of disposition of the soil. This demand 
had the support not only of the rich peasants under the 
leadership of the "independent" socialists, but also of 
the middle peasants under the leadership of the social- 



ist parties of the left. The city proletariat inclined to 
the Bolsheviki. Petlura entered Kiev as a national 
hero, but he was followed by his shadow, the Bolshevist 
Soviet power. As early as the middle of November 
there was formed in Kursk the Ukrainian Soviet Gov- 
ernment, which began a campaign against the Direc- 
tory. Advancing from north to south, the Bolsheviki 
occupied Gomel, Glukhov, Sumy, Kharkov, Yekater- 
inoslav, and finally on the second of February, Kiev ; 
Kharkov having been occupied by the Red Army even 
before Petlura' s entrance into Kiev. 

The international position of the Directory was 
also altogether difficult. Their negotiations with the 
Entente and Rumania through General Grekov in 
Odessa led to no result. The Entente held fast to the 
principle of a "united and undivided Russia" and sup- 
ported Denikin. 

Fermentation began among the troops of the Direc- 
tory. These may be divided into two groups, insur- 
rectionist and regular troops. When Petlura entered 
Kiev in December, 1918, at the head of the Directory, 
the peasant rebels formed the majority of his military 
force. Radically disposed as a result of the long guer- 
illa warfare against the rule of the Germans and the 
Hetman, they formed at that time a disciplined mass, 
who had been for a great part through the school of 
the imperialistic war. In general, however, this mass 
was politically unstable and always divided, pro- 
tecting the Ukrainian Republic whenever there was 
danger on the right, and becoming disloyal when there 
was a rebellion on the left. The regular troops were 
mainly enrolled in Odessa through the so-called mili- 
tary Rada, which stood under the military and political 
leadership of the most reactionary elements in the 


Ukrainian national movement (the independents, Ata- 
man- Verbitski and Doctor Luzenko), from the circles 
of the wealthiest peasants as well as the nationalistic- 
ally minded mobs of Ukrainia. These formed the 
bands of Gaidamaks. They were joined by the Gali- 
cian sharpshooters who had been war prisoners in 
Germany and had received there a particular Ukrain- 
ian nationalistic training. At the head of the army 
was a group of reactionaries. The political leadership 
was in the hands of the "independent*' Doctor Lu- 
zenko, the military leadership was in the hands of 
Konovaletz. Kavenko was emissary. 

The leaders were confronted by an enormously dif- 
ficult problem, that of welding into a unit a mass of 
troops in which the majority were radical while the 
minority were in favor of a national military dictator- 
ship. Such a fusion of the army was an absolute neces- 
sity. The anti-Semitic agitation began. The bands of 
Gaidamaks had long been hostile to the Jews. At a 
time when the relations were still friendly, a number 
of Jews were attacked by them with the cry, "Cut down 
the Jews !" Konovaletz, the military leader of the 
troops of the Directory, selected for this special pur- 
pose from the Gaidamaks two Ukrainian Cossacks and 
certain well disciplined bands, held together by their 
common hatred of the Bolsheviki and the Jews. These 
were the so-called "Kureni Smerti" (Clans of Death). 
Here also belonged special bands under the leadership 
of various "Batki." These bands were united by love 
of fighting in common, by reverence for and obedience 
to the Batko and by various peculiar privileges which 
they enjoyed. "They fight well, therefore they are 
permitted to plunder." This was the judgment of the 
military chiefs. 


The conduct of these troops in quiet and, if I may 
say so, pogromless times, and the attitude toward them 
of the military authorities, are exhibited in a glaring 
light in a sketch of a memorial prepared by Abrrius, 
the head of the police of Zhitomir, and handed to the 
Directory in the name of the administration of the 
city of Zhitomir. In this cautiously written memorial 
the authors request the Directory to remove from 
the city the troops which were quartered there during 
the first pogrom (the sketch in question was composed 
in the time between the first and the second pogroms). 
The soldiers are "very much demoralized, have abso- 
lutely no occupation and in connection with the mob 
strike fear and terror into every inhabitant. . . . This 
refers especially to the 'Sotnias' of the commandants. 
The city administration and the, investigating com- 
mission had full opportunity to convince themselves 
that persons in military cloaks caught with stolen goods 
were in the service of the Sotnias of the command- 
ants. When they were arrested and brought before the 
commandant, he at once set them free, whereupon they 
had the impudence to visit the administration and the 
investigating commission again and again and demand 
the return of the stolen property. This demand the 
investigating commission sometimes granted in view 
of the defiant attitude of the offenders and the circum- 
stance that they had been let go without any punish- 
ment. Later these same persons, armed, drove in 
droshkas through the city, where they no doubt kept up 
their nefarious doings." 

After the first pogrom the city administration organ- 
ized night patrols of the inhabitants to prevent robbery 
(a kind of self-defense). The commandant gave his 
consent to the organization. "Immediately thereafter 


the city administration in the first night of the patrol's 
duty found themselves face to face with serious mis- 
understandings. In the first place, the commandant 
had given an order that no Cossack was to be arrested, 
and there were no exceptions to this rule. By this order 
all possibility was removed of doing anything to stop 
the excesses committed by the persons in gray cloaks. 
On the other hand, despite the requests of the admin- 
istration, the commandant gave a special order in 
which he explained to the soldiers the purpose and the 
task of the night patrols. The night patrols were at- 
tacked by persons in soldiers' uniform and by Cossack 
officers. They began to disarm the city patrols, first 
in single cases, then more and more frequently, and 
finally the disarmament assumed a systematic and gen- 
eral character. Besides, the persons in military cloaks 
evidently were supported by the law, which prohibited 
any action against them, and became more defiant and 
shameless every day. A band of eight persons passed 
through the main streets at one o'clock in the afternoon 
and robbed the passersby of their purses and valuables 
under the pretext of looking for arms. Despite the 
complaints of the administration the excesses remained 
unpunished. Attacks on dwellings became more and 
more frequent, while at the same time the city patrols 
were disarmed and robbed. The bandits took away 
their caps, watches, shoes, abused and insulted them at 
every step and indulged in anti-Semitic incitations. 
"Later the city administration which had reported 
ic matter to the commandant and commander of the 
>rps was astounded to read in the papers an order by 
rhich it was made a duty of the military patrols to 
shoot down not only the plunderers but also those 
whom the patrols regarded as enemies of the Republic 


and propagandists of Bolshevism. In this way the 
peaceful population was handed over to the arbitrary 
and unlimited whims of a degenerate and unruly mob 
in gray coats, and the city administration was deprived 
by this order of every possibility of organizing any 
resistance against the robbers and authors of violence." 

In this way the soldier bands were systematically 
trained for the pogroms. They were demoralized, the 
life, honor and property of the peaceful population 
were given over to them and they disposed of life and 

They carried out the order of their chiefs, because 
the orders were for and not against them. They still 
maintained discipline. Later, in consequence of im- 
punity, they lost all discipline and degenerated simply 
into robber bands. 

As long as discipline still prevailed among them, the 
pogroms instituted by them clearly bore the character 
of the execution of a military command. The Jewish 
persecutions began and ended at a signal, mostly open, 
sometimes secret. 

All the pogroms carried out by the regular troops 
of the Directory followed a certain common general 
plan. They were intensified in number and in degree 
of cruelty in times when the Directory felt itself 
especially threatened by the Bolsheviki, they were re- 
duced in intensity when the Bolsheviki were driven 
out of the Ukraine by the troops of Denikin. The 
resolution of the council of ministers of the Petlura 
Government to take radical measures against the 
pogroms dates from the eighteenth of August, the 
proclamation of Petlura to the army on the same sub- 
ject dates from the twenty-sixth of August, i.e., from 
the day when the Soviet power had already been driven 


out of the Ukraine by Denikin and the days of their 
stay in Kiev were numbered. The pogroms organized 
by the Directory assumed in the year 1919 a definite 


These were confined principally to the eastern part 
of the government of Volhynia, because the troops 
of Petlura were obliged at that time, under the press- 
ure of the Bolsheviki who were advancing toward 
Kiev from the north and northwest, to retire while 
fighting. Here belong the pogroms in Ovruch (De- 
cember 31 to January 16), as well as in the villages of 
Potapovichi and Geshovo (December 31). As these 
pogroms are very significant, I shall take them up in 
more detail.* 

Ovruch is a capital city in the government of Vol- 
hynia with a population of about 10,000. More than 
two-thirds of the inhabitants are Jews. The mass of 
the Jewish population are not interested in politics and 
have not produced any well-known revolutionists. 
During the Jewish persecutions under the tsar, Ovruch 
was spared. 

It was not until December, 1917, at the time of the 
Rada and under the influence of the agitation of the 
Polish landed proprietors and the old tsarist officials, 
that the peasants of the surrounding villages began the 
destruction of Jewish shops. Dwellings were un- 
touched. Under the influence of WhiteJRussian Bol- 
sheviki, Bolshevist sentiments made their appearance 

*We publish as an appendix to this chapter the complete re- 
port of these pogroms by the well-known attorney, A. I. 
Hillerson. See pp. 185 ff. 


among the peasants of Ovruch. The Little-Russian 
Dmitriuk, who stood at the head of the "Ovruch Re- 
public" after the fall of the Ataman, and the Jew 
Friedman, made protestations against the Bolshevist 
tendency. The result was that Dmitriuk was put to 
death and Friedman made his escape by flight. 

Their place was taken by the Clans of Death and 
later by a special band of freebooters with the Ata- 
man Kozyr-Zyrka at the head. After the reception of 
a deputation of representatives of public organizations, 
mainly Poles and former tsarist officials, the Ataman 
gave an order to arrest the Jewish Rabbi and have him 
brought before him. On the 26th of December about 
two o'clock, the order was carried out and the Rabbi 
was brought to the office of the commandant. He re- 
mained there until ten o'clock in the evening, exposed 
the whole time to the insults and abuses of the Cos- 
sacks. Finally at ten o'clock he was brought before 
the Ataman. The latter received him with extreme 
rudeness, and after, an examination conducted "not 
without prejudice," he said to him, "I know that you 
are a Bolshevik, that all your relatives and all Jews 
are Bolsheviks. Know that I am going to destroy 
all the Jews in the city. Get them together in the 
synagogue and inform them of what I have told you." 
Sporadic attacks with robbery and murder followed. 
Under the pressure of the Bolshevist peasants of Poka- 
lev, Kozyr-Zyrka found it necessary to retire. On 
the 3ist of December, having received considerable 
reinforcements, he advanced on Ovruch. On the way 
thither, in the neighborhood of the village Potapo- 
vichi, the road had been made impassable. Being told 
that this had been done by the Jews, the Cossacks took 
their revenge by putting a number of Jews to death and 


violating some of their women. From there they pro- 
ceeded to the village of Geshovo, where they murdered 
two old men, a teacher and a butcher. On the 3ist of 
December the Cossacks entered Ovruch and began to 
plunder and murder the Jews. The pogrom was intro- 
duced by the violation of ten Jewish girls in the market 
place and the murder of the Jews who opposed the 
bandits. Later the Cossacks came out in bands, 
searched the houses, took money and property, beat old 
men, dishonored women and put to death young peo- 
ple. If one had money he could purchase his life. Thus 
the family Rosenmann bought a kind of "protection 
certificate" for twelve thousand rubles. They were 
told that their name was registered in the office of the 
staff, and they were as a matter of fact left undis- 
turbed. The Jews were disgraced, having been com- 
pelled to dance before Kozyr-Zyrka, who amused him- 
self by urging one of them on by the: stroke of a whip. 
They were ordered to sing Jewish songs, but it so hap- 
pened that none of them remembered the words by 
heart. Accordingly they were placed in chairs with 
fooFs caps on their heads and lights in their hands, the 
words were read to them and they were made to sing. 
Kozyr-Zyrka and his friend lay in their beds shaking 
with laughter, so uproariously that the bed broke under 
the friend. The Jews were then compelled to fix up the 
bed and the officer remained in it. One of the Jews 
was so overcome by the humiliation that he began to 
weep. Thereupon he was told that his punishment 
would be one hundred and twenty lashes. 

Seventy thousand rubles was the price the Jews paid 
to be spared the pogrom which had been instituted by 
the order of the Ataman. The Jews were ordered to 
assemble in the public square and were told by Kozyr- 


Zyrka that he had the right to destroy all the Jews, and 
that he would do so if any one of them as much as 
touched the hair of a single Cossack. He had done 
this in Potapovichi, shooting down a Jewish spy with 
his own hand. He advised the Jews to strangle with 
their own hands any Bolshevist they might find among 
them. When Kozyr-Zyrka had finished the speech, the 
Jews saluted, and the rabbi proposed to take an oath 
of loyalty to Ukrainia from all the Jews and to put a 
special body of Jewish fighters at his disposition. The 
Ataman thereupon said that he did not need a Jewish 
oath nor a Jewish body of fighters. He would let the 
Jews breathe the air of the Ukraine, but they must not 
forget his warning. Before his departure a group of 
thirty-four Jews were trapped by treachery and shot. 

From the above description it is clear that the main 
figure of the pogroms instituted and organized by 
Petlura's troops was the Ataman, who dictated his will 
to his bands or gangs, his watchword being, "Cut down 
the Jews, for they are communists." 

The course of the pogrom in Ovruch was compara- 
tively moderate. There were insults, plunder, and to 
some extent dishonor of women and a few cases of 
murder. It was still possible to redeem one's life with 
money, a favor which was later taken away. The posi- 
tion of the Directory was not yet finally undermined 
by the military defeat. There was already agitation 
in the army in favor of pogroms, but the military 
leaders had not yet given the word to destroy every- 
thing Jewish. 

In January the first pogrom took place in Zhitomir 
(7th to loth of January). It was organized by the 
retreating forces of Petlura. 

The Directory withdrew under the pressure of the 


Bolshevist troops. The commands of the Batki bear 
generally the character of anti-Jewish agitation and 
unequivocal provocation of the Jews. 

On the 1 6th of January, a declaration of Hetman 
Volynetz was posted in the houses of Medzhibozh,, 
Government of Podolia, which read as follows: "By 
order of the high government authorities of the Ukrai- 
nian Republic, I enter the district of Medzhibozh 
at the head of my army to assist the local authorities 
in their fight against the Jewish and Bolshevist bands 
who are disturbing the peace and order of this dis- 
trict. Our ignorant peasant population, which forms 
the greater part of these bands, are deceived by the 
enemies of the Ukraine, who receive a great deal of 
money for this purpose. It is said that the little Jew 
Mushlin, born in Medzhibozh, received seven million 
karbovantzy from the Russian Bolshevist Comrades 
for the organization of Bolshevist bands." On the 
2Oth of January a proclamation of Captain Diachenko 
was circulated in Bielaia Tserkov, reading as follows : 
"I learned from a reliable source that the Jewish popu- 
lation of the city and district of Bielaia Tserkov is 
agitating against the power of the, Directory. I 
give them warning hereby that if any demonstration 
should take place as a result of the Jewish activities, I 
will hold the Jewish population wholly responsible, as 
has already been done in Zhitomir and in other places 
in Ukrainia." 

In an advertisement in the official "Information 
Bureau of the Ukrainian People's Republic," which 
was circulated in the district of Kremenchug, are found 
the following inciting lines: "As regards the Jewish 
bourgeoisie who maintain a hostile attitude to the 
Ukrainian Republic, it will do them no good. The 


Ukrainian people have friends at present and are not 
afraid of their enemies everyone will get what he 
deserves. It is desirable that the Jewish people should 
declare themselves as quickly and as unequivocally as 
possible whether they will go together with the Ukrai- 
nian people, as the Jews in Galician Ukrainia have 
already done/' 

On the nth of January the following announcement 
was found posted in Felshtin : 

"The first warning to the Jewish population. 

"I have learned that the Jewish population is con- 
fusing the minds of the peasants. I warn the Jews 
that the Information Bureau is well instructed. They 
will all have to pay dear for this offence, and the 
peasants themselves will make them pay. You have no 
one from whom to expect help ! 

"Head of the Information Bureau. 

(Signature illegible) 

The Jewish community of Vinnitza received from 
the Chief of Staff of the Second Army Corps of Podo- 
lia the following reply to their request for a suppres- 
sion of the pogrom excesses in Proshna : "The corps 
commandant gives the following reply to your request, 
i. It will be best if you yourselves should see to it 
that the members of the Proshna community should not 
agitate for the Soviet deputies. 2. No other measures 
can be taken, otherwise the Cossacks will think that 
the military force intended for the protection of the 
place is supporting the Bolsheviki, and will put all 
the inhabitants to death." 

In an order of the Ataman Gavrishko, "To all the 
presidents of the great villages and village magistrates 


of the district of Priluki," special attention is called 
to the fact that a portion of the Cossacks, as a result 
partly of the influence of agitation and of the mean 
Bolshevist Jews, and partly of the moneys handed 
over to them, have succumbed to the movement of 
the agitator Koptuk and are supporting the Soviet 

The agitation and the military failures excited the 
army against the Jews. In Annapol, Government of 
Volhynia, Petlura's men instituted a pogrom under the 
watchword : "Kill the Jews, also the Jewish children !" 
Before this, officers of Petlura's armies appeared at the 
meetings which were held in that place and cried shame 
on each other because the Jews had driven them out of 

The attitude of the higher military authorities of 
the Directory toward these events appears from the 
following report of Mr. Gutermann, who was at that 
time a member of the Central Jewish Relief Committee 
for the pogrom victims and later authorized agent of 
the relief committee of the Red Cross for the popula- 
tion who suffered from the pogroms. 


In the first days of February, 1919, a deputation of 
the Zhitomir city administration and other public 
organizations was sent to Vinnitza, where the Direc- 
tory and All-Ukrainian government were then situ- 
ated. As a representative of the Relief Committee for 
the people who suffered from the pogroms, I took part 
in the deputation. In Berdichev we were joined by a 
similar delegation of the Berdichev city administration 


and the administration of the province, as well as by 
a deputation of the Jewish community. The represen- 
tatives of the latter were Krasny, now minister for 
Jewish affairs in the Petlura government, and the well- 
known Fania Nurenberg, active in public affairs. The 
purpose of my journey, as well as Krasny's and Fania 
Nurenberg's, was to receive the money appropriated 
by the Ukrainian Government, at the request of 
Revutzky, the minister for Jewish affairs, for the re- 
lief of the population of Zhitomir and Berdichev who 
had suffered from the pogroms. 

On the second and third days after our arrival in 
Vinnitza, we, i.e., the representatives of Zhitomir and 
Berdichev, were asked by Revutzky to call on him at 
his hotel apartment with Kovenko, the commandant of 
the city of Vinnitza and the leader of the Clans of 
Death (who had instituted the pogroms in Zhitomir 
and Berdichev), in order to establish the responsibility 
for the pogroms. 

The thought of a meeting with Kovenko, the former 
president of the Investigation Commission and the 
murderer of Gogol, the president of the Jewish Krie- 
gerbund (union of soldiers) a fact which Chekhov- 
ski, the Minister of the Interior, had also alluded to in 
a conversation with the delegation of the Socialistic 
parties received by him the thought of meeting with 
this Kovenko appeared to us, to say the least, frightful. 
On the following day, as we were having dinner at the 
restaurant of the Hotel Savoy, Revutzky summoned 
us to come at once to his room, where they were ex- 
pecting us. In spite of everything we all, for one rea- 
son or another, went, Madame Nurenberg, Krasny 
and myself. We found there Kovenko, three leaders 
of the Clans of Death and a Hetman, who, as we 


learned later, was the Ataman Pashchenko himself. 
Paschenko was the Ataman of the Clans of Death 
who himself instituted the pogroms in Berdichev and 
Zhitomir, had exacted large sums of money from rich 
Jews in Zhitomir, and whose staff, living at the rail- 
way station, had murdered seventeen Jews and among 
them old men. His guilt was so firmly established that 
the Ukrainian government had to arrest him, and 
Sumkevich, the Commissar of the Government of 
Volhynia, had to declare that Pashchenko, who was 
without question responsible for everything, would be 
severely punished. 

The fact that Pashchenko was free in the Savoy 
Hotel, where the ministers of the Ukrainian Govern- 
ment were staying ; that after the meeting he went for 
dinner to the restaurant where the members of the 
Directory were taking their meals, made the entire 
meeting useless. Among other things Novikov, a 
member of the Zhitomir city administration, recog- 
nized in the officer on duty at the building in which 
the Directory was located, the leader who was 
responsible for the most horrible episode during the 
whole Zhitomir. pogrom, which took place on Theatre 
Street, when all the men of the Weinstein house were 
brought out, and some shot, while the rest were un- 
dressed, and while being led to the railway station 
were beaten to death on the way with sabres and the 
butt ends of guns. 

The meeting was opened by Revutzky with a speech 
in which he said that the charge that the government 
had instituted the pogroms reflected on him also as a 
member of the Government, and that he therefore de- 
sired that the question should be settled at this meet- 
ing, which was participated in by representatives of the 


Clans of Death as well as of Zhitomir and Ber- 

One of the leaders from Galich, who was not in 
Zhitomir at the time of the pogrom, but had been sent 
there by Kovenko to establish the circumstances of the 
pogrom and the responsibility therefor, declared that 
the pogrom was instituted mainly by Jews, that it had 
begun before the Clans of Death had arrived, and 
that Pashchenko had not enough forces at his disposal 
to check the pogrom. We all protested against this 
shameless declaration. I called attention to the fact 
that in Kiev there was a letter of a certain Hodman who 
had been beaten by soldiers of the Clans of Death in 
Fastov. He wrote in the letter that he had heard 
from soldiers that Clans of Death had gone to Zhito- 
mir to institute Jewish pogroms. The letter arrived 
in Kiev on the day before the pogrom broke out in 
Zhitomir. I also called their attention to the fact that 
the Investigating Commission in Zhitomir had in 
their possession a note signed by Pashchenko and ad- 
dressed to the well-known bandits Bek and Dimi- 
trienko, in which they were ordered to appropriate the 
money in the Azov bank which belonged to the rich 
Jew, Rabin. I also asked Pashchenko how, if it was 
true that the only reason the pogroms continued was 
that he had not enough forces at his disposal to stop 
them, he could explain the fact that at the station, 
where he himself had been with his staff, seven- 
teen Jews had been killed, among them some very old 

Madame Nurenberg reported on the pogrom in 
Berdichev, which had been directly instituted by the 
Clans of Death and Pashchenko. Krasny reported, 
on the basis of the deposition of Zolodar, the acting 


Mayor of Berdichev, that Pashchenko had declared 
publicly in the city magistrate's office that he was go- 
ing to Zhitomir "to get even with the Jews." 

Pashchenko made no denial. Kovenko, however, 
always defended him and the Clans of Death. Kov- 
enko did not justify them nor deny their participa- 
tion in the pogrom, but in cynical fashion he abused 
the whole of Jewry and accused them of lending sup- 
port to the Bolshemki. 

Quivering with anger he struck his fists on the 
table, and his. whole speech was nothing but an inco- 
herent hysterical cry, to the effect that the Clans of 
Death had acted according to instructions, that the 
Jews hated the Ukrainians and that the Jews them- 
selves had taken part in the pogrom. "The Clans of 
Death are the glory of the Ukrainian army, Pash- 
chenko is the best son of Ukrainia, and if he had not 
been arrested, we should not have lost Kiev. Now 
that he is free again we shall regain Kiev. They are 
my Clans of Death. When the Clans of Death 
marched to Kiev, they hurried so that they upset all 
the vehicles that were in their way, for they knew why 
they must hurry to Zhitomir. The Jews have plun- 
dered the city. We were not shy, we killed and killed 
and will kill again. Even this night I will have fifty 
men hanged in Vinnitza. I am a 'gendarme/ and do 
not feel a bit embarrassed about it." 

When Revutzky began to say something about a re- 
habilitation of the Ukrainian army, Kovenko cried 
out, "We do not need its rehabilitation." 

The most terrible thing at this meeting were the 
objections which one of the leaders of the Clans of 
Death, a typical criminal, raised. They made our 
blood run cold. 


"As we were approaching Zhitomir," he said, "there 
came out of one of the trenches two Jews with two 
long beards like this (a gesture to indicate the length 
of the beard) and shot at us. When I asked them why 
they were shooting at us, they replied that they hated 
the Ukrainians, whereupon I pierced them through." 
He also said that he had himself killed three Jews in 
Zhitomir because they plundered the shops during the 
pogroms. "At the station I caught two Jews with proc- 
lamations against the Directory and ran them through 
with my sword." 

When I asked Revutzky the next day why he had 
arranged this depressing meeting, he said he wanted 
to know what truth there was in the statement that 
Kovenko had been the real organizer of the pogroms. 
I am fully convinced he was. 

(Signed) P. GUETERMANN. 

To this objective document it must be added that 
Krasny, who took part in the conference just men- 
tioned, later became minister for Jewish affairs in the 
Petlura government. 

In February, 1919, the position of the Directory 
became worse. The Bolshevists occupied Kiev. Pet- 
lura' s troops finally evacuated the Governments of 
Kherson, Poltava and Kiev. The pogroms gained in 
extent. They are reported in Yelisavetgrad (4th and 
5th of February), Novo-Mirgorod (about the same 
time), Piriatin and a number of other places in the 
Government of Poltava. At the railway station of 
Ramodan, Bobrinsky and other towns, Jews were 
thrown out of the cars and shot down. 

In Lubny a pogrom was prevented only because some 
hundred men among Petlura's troops made ener- 


getic resistance to the pogrom. They even opposed 
it with arms, designating themselves as the "Local 
Sotnia." They lost fourteen men, but they saved the 
city from the pogrom. In Kremenchug the pogrom 
was prevented at the cost of one and a half million 
rubles, which the Jews gave to the troops. At the same 
time pogroms took place in the Government of Kiev, 
at Vasilkov (7th and 8th of February), Rossovo 
(i4th and I5th of February), Stiepantsy (i4th of 
February), Radomysl (i8th to 2Oth of February), 
Skvira (beginning and end of February). The most 
terrible pogrom of this month, which denoted a turn- 
ing point from the primary "pillage" pogroms of the 
preceding period to the following "Jew-annihilating" 
pogroms, took place far behind the Petlura front, 
in Proskurov on the I5th of February and in Felshtin 
on the 1 6th of the same month. (These two pogroms 
are described in greater detail in A. I. Hillerson's re- 
port in the Appendix, pp. 185 ff.) 

Proskurov is the liveliest city in the Government of 
Podolia. It has about 50,000 inhabitants, half of 
whom are Jews. The democratic city administration 
consisted of 50 city commissaries of whom 26 were 
Christians and 24 were Jews. The mayor and the 
head of the assembly of city commissaries were Poles. 
Kiverchuk, formerly in the service of the tsar, was 
the commandant. The city was guarded by the militia. 
But the city administration did not trust them and 
organized a force of their own, the so-called "ward 
guard/' At the head of it were mostly Jews. The 
chief was a Christian by the name of Rudnitzky, his 
second was Schenkmann, a Jew. Kiverchuk distrusted 
the defending force "because they were Jewish," and 
put all sorts of difficulties in their way. 


At a congress of the Bolsheviki of the Government 
of Podolia, held in Vinnitza, where Petlura resided, 
(some say that the congress itself was provocatory in 
character) it was resolved that on the fifteenth of Feb- 
ruary a Bolshevist uprising should break out in Pros- 
kurov. The third Gaidamak regiment which already 
had experience in the institution of pogroms appeared 
on the scene. When the rumor spread in the city that 
an uprising was being prepared, Joffe, a member of 
the Jewish Labor Bund and presiding officer of a con- 
ference of all the socialistic parties of Proskurov, 
called the representatives of the parties to a consulta- 
tion, at which members of all the factions including 
the Bolshevists were present. At this meeting they put 
in a protest and pointed out that the uprising would lead 
to a collapse. The communists pointed out that the 
question had already been settled, that the uprising had 
already been prepared, that it would break out simul- 
taneously in the whole Government of Podolia, that in 
Proskurov a part of the garrison would side with the 
insurgents and that sixteen villages were ready to send 
them help. On the evening before the uprising, two 
represenatives of the Bolshevists asked the ward 
guard what their attitude would be. The president, 
Rudnitzky, and his associate, Schenkmann, replied that 
the ward guard was not a party organization, that 
its exclusive purpose was the protection of the in- 
habitants and that they would be completely neutral in 
this case. At the same time Schenkmann pointed out 
that their attempt was inopportune and that it would 
inevitably lead to a Jewish pogrom. The answer was 
that these demonstrations would extend over the whole 
Government (province), and that a favorable result 
was assured. Schenkmann then tried to prove to the 


Bolshevist staff how senseless the uprising would be, 
but failed. The insurrectionists arrested Kiverchuk, 
whom they regarded, not without reason, as a danger- 
ous advocate of the Black Hundred. After he was 
freed, Kiverchuk said that he, a representative of the 
city, had been imprisoned by the Jewish members of the 
ward guard. 

The Ataman Semosenko took over the duties of 
Kiverchuk. The Gaidamak soldiers were again con- 
centrated at the station. Arrests followed in the city. 
At the station, tables were set for the entertainment 
of the Gaidamaks, they were treated lavishly and given 
brandy and cognac. When the entertainment was 
over Semosenko made a speech in which he described 
the difficult position of Ukrainia ; he spoke of the sacri- 
fices which the Ukrainians offered in the war and 
pointed out emphatically that the most dangerous ene- 
mies of the Ukrainian people and the Cossacks were 
the Jews, who must be cut down with the sword to save 
themselves and the Ukraine. He asked the Cossacks to 
swear that they would fulfill their duty and destroy the 
Jewish population, but must at the same time swear 
that they would not rob the Jews of their possessions 
and property. The Cossacks were led to the flags and 
took an oath to murder but not to rob. Having drawn 
themselves up the regiment band in front and 
the sanitary corps in the rear the Cossacks marched 
to the city along Alexandrovskaya street. Then they 
divided in groups of five to fifteen men and swarmed 
out into the adjoining streets, which were inhabited 
exclusively by Jews. With perfect sang-froid they 
entered two houses, drew their swords and began to 
cut down the Jewish inmates without regard to sex 
or age. They murdered old men, women and infants 


at their mothers' breasts. They were not content with 
killing, but thrust their victims through with their 
bayonets. They made use of their guns only when 
some persons succeeded in running out into the streets. 
Then they sent a bullet after them. The Jews were 
dragged out of the cellars and lofts and murdered. 
Hand grenades were thrown into the cellars, and entire 
families were put to death in the most brutal manner. 
The massacre lasted from two o'clock in the afternoon 
to five-thirty. It might have lasted till late into the 
night but the commander Taranovich, who had not 
been initiated into all the plans of Semosenko and 
Kiverchuk, was frightened when he saw these bloody 
orgies. When he had succeeded in obtaining an order 
from the commander Konovalov to put an end to the 
blood bath, he brought it to Semosenko, who said, 
"Good, it is enough for to-day." A trumpet signal 
was then given to the Gaidamaks to stop "work." 
Thereupon they assembled at a place determined be- 
forehand and marched singing to their quarters behind 
the railway station. The pogrom was to be continued 
the next day (the Gaidamaks related that the mas- 
sacre was to last three days). Thanks to the inter- 
ference of the city administration, especially the city 
commissar Verkhola, the mass slaughter was stopped. 
In a proclamation, in which Semosenko declares the 
city and the canton under martial law, he writes, "I 
warn the population to stop anarchistic revolts, since 
I have the power to suppress them. I call the atten- 
tion of the Jews in particular to this. You are a 
people hated by all nations. And yet you bring such 
confusion among the baptized. Do you really not 
want to live ? Are you not sorry for your own people ? 
As long as no one bothers you be quiet. Such a miser- 


able nation, and yet they cause so much disturbance 
among a poor people !" 

After the pogrom in Proskurov the bandits made 
it their purpose to annihilate this "miserable nation," 
which brings confusion among the baptized. 

The pogrom in Felshtin was really an episode of 
the Proskurov massacre. It lasted several hours and 
cost the lives of about six hundred persons, that is, 
almost a third of the Jewish population numbering 
1,900 souls. Many more women were violated here 
than in Proskurov. Most of those killed were first 
dishonored, and survivors underwent the same horror. 
Here too the pogrom stopped at a given signal. When 
the trumpet sounded, the Gaidamaks poured petro- 
leum and benzine upon five of the best houses in the 
town and set them on fire. Thus these warriors 
crowned their work for the welfare of the Ukrainian 

The month of March is marked by the successes in 
arms of Petlura's troops. In the beginning of March 
Petlura succeeded, by Sarin's march to Iskorost, in 
threatening Kiev. He occupied Iskorost, Malin, the 
station Irsha and on the 2ist of March, Zhitomir. He 
was only 150 versts from Kiev. At the end of March 
the fortunes of war turned against him. Owing to 
quick reinforcements of the Bolsheviki, the breach 
through their front was made ineffective on April ist. 
Zhitomir, Malin, Iskorost and other places were re- 
conquered by the Bolsheviki. The greatest pogroms, 
as for example the second in Zhitomir, took place at 
the end of March. In this month Petlura' s army in- 
stituted the following pogroms : in Belashits (between 
the 7th and I2th of March), in Samgorodok (i3th of 
March), in Iskorost and Ushomir (3ist of March), 


and in Zhitomir (second pogrom, 22nd of March). 
Especially characteristic and significant for the con- 
ception of the entire political situation are the circum- 
stances under which the second pogrom in Zhitomir 
took place. For this reason we quote a report of this 
pogrom made by the authorized agent, Lifschiitz. 


On the 2ist of , March the Soviet troops left Zhito- 
mir. Early on the 22nd the troops of Petlura entered. 
After the withdrawal of the Soviet troops, the promi- 
nent persons in the public life of Zhitomir decided to 
send a delegation to the troops of the Directory in 
order to prevent a pogrom. In view of the intense 
agitation against the Jews, the rumor spread that the 
Petlura troops would institute a pogrom in the city, 
and the delegation was to endeavor to keep them from 
carrying out their intention. In order to make the anti- 
Jewish agitation more effective in the circles of the 
ignorant population, especially the peasants, the rumor 
was circulated that during the presence of the Soviet 
troops the Bolsheviki, or, as was stated by all sorts of 
inciting police spies, the Jews, had put to death 1,700 
Christians. As a matter of fact the Bolsheviki, accord- 
ing to the complete and exact data of the Extraordi- 
nary Commission, had, up to the time of their retire- 
ment from Zhitomir, put to death six persons in the 
city and sixteen in the surrounding district, twenty-two 
persons in all, of whom several were Jews. The rumor 
of the 1,700 men shot was circulated among others by 
officials, who apparently regarded this fable as actually 
true or at least pretended to think so. On Friday it 
was already clear that the pogrom was unavoidable. 


The Jewish masses left the city. The entire Jewish 
youth fled from the city for fear of a pogrom. On 
their return they were designated as fugitive Bolshe- 
viki. It was only thanks to the energetic efforts of the 
city administration and a few prominent and influ- 
ential Christian citizens that they succeeded in saving 
the young people who returned, and who had nothing 
to do with Bolshevism, from being shot. 

Early on Saturday, the delegation, consisting of 
three prominent Christians and the president of the 
Jewish community, went out to meet the troops. The 
Jew was obliged to go back while still on his way, be- 
cause he was in danger of losing his life, as he was 
told by an officer whom the deputation met on the way. 

On his way back, the president of the community 
saw the first bodies of Jews who had been put to death 
by the arriving soldiers. The first man killed was an 
old man of seventy on the road leading from Vrangel- 
evka to the city. The old man was on his way to the 
synagogue carrying the "talis" (prayer shawl) in his 
hand. According to the testimony of eye witnesses, he 
was placed against a tree and shot at without being 
killed immediately. The wounded old man had strength 
enough left to drag himself several yards farther on 
the road. As a result of the great loss of blood he 
began to reel, fell down and died by the wayside. 

The delegation led the conversation with the staff to 
the subject of the 1,700 Christians alleged to have been 
put to death by the Jews, and when they gave their 
word of honor that the story was absolutely untrue, 
they were told by the staff that intelligent people natu- 
rally could be convinced, but that the soldiers were 
very much aroused against the Jews, and the staff 
could do nothing. 


The pogrom began on the 22nd of March and lasted 
five days. The first three were the bloodiest. 

The number of victims in Zhitomir alone, not count- 
ing those buried in the surrounding villages, was 317. 
The greater part of those murdered were old men, wo- 
men and children. The losses among the younger men 
were comparatively slight, for these had either left the 
city at the same time as the Bolsheviki or had con- 
cealed themselves. When dwelling houses were at- 
tacked, the inmates succeeded in some cases in redeem- 
ing their lives by payment of money, but there were a 
number of cases in which the bandits took the money 
and then slaughtered those who expected to save 
themselves in that way. In general, Petlura's men, 
unlike the loafers of the first pogrom who confined 
themselves principally to robbery and plunder, endeav- 
ored to kill as many Jews as they could. 

That this second pogrom of Zhitomir exacted only 
317 victims is due to two reasons, first, that many 
Christians took Jews into their houses, thus saving a 
great many from death; but principally that on the 
evening of the 24th of March the Bolsheviki renewed 
their advance against Zhitomir, and thus prevented a 
further extension of the pogrom, since all the soldiers 
had to go to the front. On the 23rd of March, when 
the pogrom was in full swing, Petlura came to Zhitp- 
mir. He was accurately informed of all that had taken 
and was taking place. He said that he had done every- 
thing necessary to check the pogrom. In reality, how- 
ever, no measures of any kind were taken until the 
25th of March. 

In addition to the killed, the number of wounded and 
injured was also very great. It can not be determined 
even approximately because the greater part of the in- 


jured remained at home and could not get any medical 
help. The victims of the pogrom belonged in the great 
majority to the poor classes and those just above 

The pogrom of Zhitomir completely discloses the 
cards of the pogrom politics of the Directory. A 
delegation of the Jewish socialistic parties once came 
before Vinnichenko, the former head of the Ukrainian 
People's Republic, and complained of the terrible Jew- 
ish persecutions which the regular Ukrainian troops in- 
stituted according to a definite plan and by order of the 
responsible military leaders. His reply was: "Tell 
your Jews and your young men that they should not 
support the Bolshevists. The Jewish workmen organ- 
ized uprisings in the towns of Ukrainia to hand over 
the power to the Bolshevists. We shall soon be pow- 
erless against the anger of our troops against the 
Jews." Hereupon a member of the delegation justly 
remarked that a similar reply was made to a Jewish 
delegation after the Kishinev pogrom by the all-power- 
ful satrap of the tsar, Plehve. 

During the Zhitomir pogrom, just as the deeds of 
horror had reached their highest point, Petlura, the 
head of the Directory, came to Zhitomir. The high- 
est Ataman of the Ukrainian troops did not prevent the 
pogrom which a few days later the chief of the Gali- 
cians easily suppressed. 

The attitude of Petlura is clear from the frank 
conversation which Colonel Petrov, chief of the gar- 
rison, had with a deputation of the Extraordinary 
Investigation Commission. Petrov, a former officer of 
the general staff, said of himself to some persons in 
public life that he had been a faithful servant of the 
tsar until the first of March. After the ist of March 


he found that he had been mistaken and became a 
socialist. The conversation was so significant that the 
Extraordinary Investigation Commission resolved to 
send the Directory an extract from the Protocol 
which had reference to the conversation with Petrov. 
The extract is as follows : 

April 10, 1919. 


The delegation consisted of the following members 
of the Commission : M. A. Kitz, Second Attorney Gen- 
eral, Judge G. W. Rublevski, and P. T. Redko, Repre- 
sentative of the Government District. 

The delegation reported that they first called on the 
Government commissar Sumkevich, who was very 
favorable to the work of the Commission. He said it 
was necessary to hand over the matter of the second 
pogrom to the Extraordinary Investigation Commis- 
sion that was already in existence, and promised per- 
sonally to appeal to the Directory for this purpose. He 
requested us to let him present a memoir of his own on 
this matter, advised us to approach the military au- 
thorities, promised to secure the necessary means and 
allowed the Commission an advance of 15,000 rubles. 

The Chief of the Field Police, Bogatzky, was also 
favorable to the work done by the Commission and 
promised them his full support in their house search- 
ings and arrests. 

Quite different was the attitude of Colonel Petrov, 
chief of the garrison. When the delegation greeted 
him on the steps of the Hotel Frankreich, he said, 
"Ah, this is the Jewish Commission, I have nothing to 


say to you/' When it was explained to him that 
the delegation consisted of members of the Commis- 
sion confirmed by the Directory, Colonel Petrov in- 
vited the members of the delegation to his room. Dur- 
ing the conversation Colonel Petrov said among other 
things, "We march under the banner, 'Cut down the 
Jews, and cut down the Bolsheviki!' Can you hold 
two thousand minor children responsible if, meeting 
the Jews who were advancing against them together 
with the Bolsheviki, they killed a few of the former?" 
He said further that the pogrom broke out with such 
elemental force that even the students in the military 
schools were unable to resist it, so much so that in the 
few days of the pogrom he had to send the members 
of the Yunatsk School to the front. If some soldier 
took a shirt away from a Jew, he must not, according 
to Petrov, be held responsible for it. If the soldiers 
are to be held responsible, he can justify their acts 
fourfold. When a member of the Commission again 
pointed out that the Commission was confirmed by the 
Directory, Colonel Petrov said that the Directory 
was a puppet in the hands of the diplomats, most ofi 
whom were Jews. If the Directory appointed a com- 
mission to investigate the matter of pogroms, it was 
merely to make a show before public opinion that such 
things as pogroms do not remain unpunished. The 
delegation received the impression that Colonel Pet- 
rov was favorable to the existence of the Commission 
but not to their activity. The sense of his reply was 
that the soldiers should remain undisturbed, but pri- 
vate plunderers should be made responsible, for these 
would be shot by the Government. At the end of the 
conversation, when the delegates again pointed out em- 
phatically that they were acting according to instruc- 


tions confirmed by the Directory, the chief of the 
garrison promised to see to it that the Commandant 
Vosny and the Hetman Bogatzky should lend their 
support to the Commission. 

On a second visit to Sumkevich, the delegation in- 
formed him of their conversation with Colonel Petrov, 
which displeased the commissar very much. He asked 
them not to do anything until his return from Rovno, 
where he wanted to talk the matter over with the mem- 
bers of the Directory. At his request the delegation 
handed over to him a memoir concerning the delivery 
of the documents of the second pogrom to the Com- 
mission, which memoir he took along with him. 

The Commission resolved as follows : "That part of 
the Protocol of the meeting which concerns the con- 
versations with Colonel Petrov shall be laid before the 
Directory after the return of the Government com- 
missar from Rovno," and they requested at the same 
time that the delegation chosen on the 3rd of April 
be sent to hold a conversation with him. 

The original of the protocol is signed by all of the 
members of the Commission. 

The reply of the Directory to the communication 
sent to them about Petrov's talents as a pogrom maker 
was his appointment as minister of war of the Direc- 

After the month of March the pogroms instituted by 
the military associations of the Directory cross the 
path of those organized by the insurrectionary bands 
of the inner anti-Bolshevist front, of which more is 
said below in the chapter entitled, "The Batko." 

On the loth of April a group of Petlura's followers, 
who retired from Olevsk to Novograd-Volynsk, des- 
troyed the town of Emilchino. 


In May Petlura's troops instituted the following 
pogroms on their front in the governments of Vol- 
hynia and Podolia ; in Voronovitsy , on the gth of May ; 
in Rovno, on the I4th and 2Qth of May; in Kremenetz, 
on the 22nd of May; in Litin, on the I4th and the 
28th; in Kodyma and other places (precise dates not 
yet established). 

In June, as a result of the varying fortunes on the 
outer front, there were 'pogroms and murders in Der- 
ashna, during the time between the 7th and I7th of 
June, in Khmelnik, Strishanya, Starye Siniavka, and 
other places. 

In the enormous number of pogroms instituted in 
July, which broke the record in the annals of terror 
and death, portions of Petlura's troops were active in 
the governments of Volhynia and Podolia in addition 
to the insurrectionary troops of freebooters. At this 
time it is extremely difficult to distinguish between the 
former and the insurgent bands. The extreme meas- 
ures, namely the Jewish pogroms, which the military 
leaders took for the purpose of welding together the 
different portions of their troops, brought about their 
final dissolution and changed them into robber bands. 

In August the number of pogroms perpetrated by the 
freebooters and the armies of the Directory was 
very small. Instead of this wave there arose a new one, 
the all-Russian reaction of General Denikin. In Aug- 
ust the political situation changed completely. As a 
result of the happenings on the "internal front," the 
freebooters, the uprising of Grigoriev and the pressure 
of the volunteer army, the Soviet power was expelled 
from the Ukraine. Ukrainian cities passed one after 
another into the possession of the volunteer army, 
which in the beginning of August occupied Kharkov, 


Yekaterinoslav, Poltava. In the middle of August the 
Soviet Government had only Kiev in its possession, and 
this was occupied by Denikin on the 2nd of September. 
The Directory saw itself faced by another enemy, who 
also used the method of the pogrom against the Soviet 
power. Henceforth this method had no further pur- 
pose in the hands of the Directory. Besides, this, 
weapon, which signified the last anchor for the Direc- 
tory, to which it clung as a drowning man to a straw, 
appeared infamous in the eyes of West European 
public opinion. 

Simultaneously with the gradual occupation of the 
Ukraine by Denikin, the Directory, almost entirely 
driven out of the Ukraine, removed its activity abroad, 
where it developed a lively diplomatic and agitational 
propaganda. But rumors and reports of the pogroms 
had already been circulated in Western Europe. The 
Directory attempted to deny everything, and the best 
method of defense was to impute the guilt to others. 

The representative of the Petlura government at 
the Peace Conference, Dr. Margoline, gave to the cor- 
respondent of the "Jewish Chronicle" the following 
explanation of the Ukrainian pogroms : 

"There is this difference between the pogroms which 
have unhappily taken place in the Ukraine and those 
which occurred under the tsarist regime. Whereas 
the latter were instigated and connived at by the au- 
thorities, the Ukraine government has steadily set its 
face against the pogroms, and it has had no part in, or 
responsibility for, them. At the time of Petlura's 
coup d'etat at the end of November, 1918, I myself 
read, in numerous towns and villages in the Ukraine, 
proclamations issued by the government strongly con- 
demning pogroms, explaining to the people that the 


Jews were fellow-citizens and brothers who were help- 
ing in the evolution of the Ukrainian state, and to 
whom the fullest rights were due. The proclamations 
declared that pogroms must tend to discredit the 
Ukraine in the eyes of the civilized world, and those 
who took part in them were no friends of the country. 
Unfortunately, after the Bolshevists took Kiev, and 
disintegration set in among the ranks of the Ukrainian 
forces, the worst elements of the army started po- 
groms. Once more the government disavowed them, 
sentenced the perpetrators to death, expressed their 
deepest sympathy with the Jews, and promised the 
fullest compensation to the sufferers. I must unhappily 
admit that the last pogroms as to which I have infor- 
mation those of February and March last were 
very bad, thousands of Jews being killed. They were 
instigated by criminals, Black Hundreds, and Bolshe- 
vists, who wished to discredit the Ukrainian govern- 
ment." (Jewish Chronicle, May 16, 1919.) 

The explanations of Dr. Margoline do not tally with 
the facts. At the time of his interview (May, 1919), 
the pogromists raged through the land with elemental 
fury. A bitter fight ensued between the Directory 
and the Soviet power, and thousands of Jews were done 
to death at the hands of the insurrectionary bands and 
the armies of Petlura. The Directory had no thought 
of expressing its sympathy with the Jews. It did 
not fight against the excesses and issued no proclama- 
tions against pogroms. We have quoted above the dec- 
larations of different heads of the army. They all 
bear unequivocally the character of incitements to 
pogroms. That the excesses were organized, we have 
already shown. During the second terrible pogrom in 
Zhitomir, which began and ended by order of the high- 


est military authorities, Petlura, the head of the Direc- 
tory, came to Zhitomir, and the unfortunate Jewish 
population turned to him. Nevertheless the pogroms 
kept on. It is true that the pogrom tactics had so de- 
moralized the army that it contained many criminal 
elements and followers of the Black Hundred. But 
the responsible parties were the leaders of the Direc- 

"The Directory fights against the pogroms . . ." 
Read the little book published in Berlin by the Ukrain- 
ian mission under the title, "Die Lage der Juden in 
der Ukraine?' (The position of the Jews in the 
Ukraine), and you will come across a resolution of 
the Council of Ministers of the Ukrainian People's 
Republic, in which special attention is called to the fact 
that "the government of the Ukrainian People's Re- 
public has made it its task to remove the possibilities of 
incitements, pogroms and other excesses." 

This resolution was passed on the i8th of August, 
i.e., at the time, as explained before, when the pogroms 
had lost their value as methods of political warfare. 
The entire statement of the question in this resolution 
is also characteristic: "The Council of Ministers hav- 
ing heard the report of P. Krasny, Minister for Jew- 
ish affairs, concerning the situation that has developed 
in connection with the Jewish pogroms in the Ukraine, 
and especially in Kiev, and also abroad, makes the fol- 
lowing order. . . . Advices full of lies, falsehoods 
and incitements deliberately confuse the places where 
the pogroms were perpetrated by the Bolshevists with 
those instituted by a reactionary clique in the Ukraine, 
who are in union with the underhanded reaction of 
Denikin and the Poles. ... In lying publications and 
in open letters addressed to the most important repre- 


sentatives in Europe all of this is imputed to 
the Ukrainian People's Republic, which has made 
it its aim energetically to suppress all pogrom 
excesses. . . ." 

The passages italicized by me show clearly the mo- 
tives which led to the publication of this document. 
. . . They follow from the situation created in Kiev 
(i.e., the public central place where there were no pog- 
roms, but where public opinion at this terrible time 
cursed the Directory), as well as the situation 
abroad, which pressed so hard upon the Directory in 
its fight against Denikin's principle of a "united and 
undivided Russia." 

This resolution is not concerned with the colossal 
evils, political and economic; it is not concerned with 
the destruction and extirpation of a nation, which was 
"helping in the evolution of the Ukrainian state" ; it is 
not concerned with the horrors, which put in the shade 
those of the middle ages; it is not concerned with na- 
tional relief to those who were injured through the guilt 
of the Directory and their agents (the offer to con- 
tribute 11,460,000 griven, i.e., 5,730,000 rubles, seems 
ridiculous enough, besides the offer was not made until 
the 1 5th of August, 1919) it is concerned only with 
the political uselessness of the Jewish pogroms, which 
brought the Ukrainian Government into an unfavor- 
able position. The resolution is only a confirmation 
of what I have already said. 

To sum up, the Directory used pogrom politics as 
long as they promised, in a given instant under the mili- 
tary and political circumstances, success in their strug- 
gle against the Soviet power. This method was a 
double-edged sword for the Directory. On the one 
hand the anti- Jewish parts of the army were welded 


together, but on the other hand military discipline was 
undermined. The anti-Bolshevist agitation under the 
motto, "Cut down the Jews, for they are bourgeois," 
produced in the masses a Bolshevistic radicalism ; while 
the motto, "Cut down the Jews, for they are commun- 
ists," strengthened the reaction, which did not bow to 
the political course of the Directory, but inclined to the 
All-Russian reaction of General Denikin, whom the 
Directory so much feared. The bitter fight against 
the Soviet power transformed this method into a con- 
tinuous system. It was only after the Denikin reaction 
had triumphed, when the Directory rehabilitated 
itself in the eyes of West European public opinion and 
had to seek support from the Jewish socialistic parties 
of the right it was only then that the Rada of the 
People's Ministers spoke a decisive word, and the 
chief Ataman, Petlura, issued his order of the day to 
the troops, on the 26th of August, 1919. 


WITH the occupation of Kiev by the Soviet power,, 
the so-called internal front was first formed, the rising 
of the Ukrainian peasants against the Soviet govern- 
ment. The latter extended its power over the large 
cities (Kiev, Yekaterinoslav, Kharkov, Odessa, Cherni- 
gov and others) and the territory covered by the rail- 
roads. The localities a few versts away from the 
railroads were already in revolt. The suppression of 
these uprisings, which always assumed more intense 
forms, was the essential characteristic of the Soviet 
period in the Ukraine, while the history of the peasant 
uprisings represented at the same time the history of 
the Jewish massacres in the Ukraine. 

The peasants in the Ukraine were armed to the teeth. 
Even during the German occupation the villages were 
always provided with arms, not only revolvers and 
guns, but also machine guns and small cannon. The 
Soviet power, which always fought against the troops 
of the Directory, was not able to penetrate into the 
villages and disarm them. Besides, the army of the 
Soviet power was unable to exercise sufficient influ- 
and not sufficiently disciplined. Politically, too, the 
Soviet power was unable to exercise sufficient influ- 
ence upon the middle peasants. The difference between 
city and country in the Ukraine was too great. The 



Ukrainian village is very rich; and the peasants re- 
fused to give up their products and their grain to the 
indigent city for "Kerensky money" or the Ukrainian 
"karbovantzy," which they possessed in plenty (there 
was scarcely a house which did not own bales of worth- 
less paper money) ; for the peasant could not obtain 
what he needed for this money; he could get neither 
agricultural machines nor manufactured goods nor salt. 
The blockade made it impossible for the city to play 
the role of the middleman or to obtain its necessities. 
The Soviet power was therefore compelled to take the 
grain from the peasants by force of arms. To be sure, 
the Soviet government had made a decree regulating 
I the exchange of agricultural products for salt and 
I manufactured goods, a standard of exchange had in 
\ fact been established, one pound of salt to equal one 
pound of flour. This was changed later, and one pound 
of salt was made equal to 2 poods (i pood equals 40 
Ibs.) of flour. In reality, however, there was no possi- 
bility of transporting manufactures or salt and bringing 
them to their destinations, after the internal front made 
railroad communication in the Ukraine almost impos- 
sible by reason of the continual blowing up and dam- 
aging of rolling stock and tracks. But the peasants 
were not willing to give anything away for products 
"prospective in principle/' For they mistrusted the 
"commune/' Not only the rich peasants but the mid- 
dle peasants, too, regarded the "commune" as a hydra 
which strove to take everything out of the village with- 
out giving them anything in return. The rich Ukrain- 
ian village was anarchistic in temper. It recognized 
every government so long as it left the village undis- 
turbed, and demanded no taxes, agricultural products, 
recruits, and so on. But the moment any government 


attempted to make demands for the flat land or to 
press claims, the village revolted, took out the buried 
weapons and used them, and finally brought about the 
fall of the government in question. The Ukrainian 
village was the sphinx whose riddle could not be solved 
and which destroyed every power that rose before it. 
This is the explanation of the cinematographic rapidity 
with which the various governments followed each 
other in the Ukraine. 

A special peasant phraseology was formed: "We 
are Bolshevists," said the peasants in the Ukraine, 
"but no communists. The Bolsheviki gave us land, 
while the communists take away our grain without 
giving us anything for it. We will not allow the 
Red Army to hang the commune about our necks. 
Down with the commune ! Long live the Bolsheviki !" 

The attitude of the Ukrainian peasants toward the 
commune is shown in the following incident, which 
would be humorous if it were not that it really 
took place under the tragic circumstances of the 
pogrom temper. The authorized agent of the Relief 
Committee of the Red Cross had been commissioned to 
establish a kitchen in Iskorost for those who had suf- 
fered from the pogrom. Rumors of the creation of a 
common kettle, that terrible common kettle with 
which the agitators frightened the peasants, were cir- 
culated also in the neighboring district of Ushomir. 
The inhabitants of Ushomir said then that "the JewS 
had already established the commune," and affirmed 
that they had seen the Kettle with their own eyes. The 
peasants of Ushomir threatened the Jewish population 
with the words, "Why don't you go to Iskorost? 
There the Kettle is already made." Fearing an accu- 
sation of having established the "commune/* the Jews 


of Ushomir asked the agent of the Red Cross not to 
establish a kitchen after the model of the one in Iskor- 
ost, so that they might not be exposed to the danger of 
being regarded as communists. 

^ The attitude of opposition toward the "city power" 
I led to a rejection of "State power" in general. The 
I anarchistic village needs no government. Of what 
good is it ? The village has its leaders, viz. its "Elders" 
/ (Batki). The government is never constant, it 
always changes. Since the March Revolution the 
Ukraine has had too many governments to be able to 
believe in the durability of any kind of State order (the 
Provisional Government, the Central Rada and its Sec- 
retariat, the first period of the Soviet power, the Ger- 
man Occupation, the rule of the Germans, the Direc- 
tory, the Soviet power again and the armies pressing 
it from two sides, the army of Petlura and that of the 
volunteers). Their Ataman (leader), however, their 
Batko, they always have. He is one of them and 
they believe in the firmness and unshakenness of the 
armed regime of the peasants with the Batko at their 
head. The village rejects every thought of the possi- 
bility of an attack on the peasants and their "eternal 
rights to the land and its products" by the landed pro- 
prietors of the White Guard. But in so far as the vil- 
lage sees a danger on the right, in so far as danger 
threatens the interests of the village and the right of 
the peasants to the land, they will support the left in- 
cluding the Soviet power, which favors them in this 

A characteristic episode will make clear the attitude 
of the village to the Soviet power when there is a 
danger threatening from the right. In the last months 
of the Soviet government in the Ukraine (July, 1919), 


there were frequent uprisings among those Soviet 
troops which consisted of peasant freebooters. Such a 
regiment stationed near Kiev resolved to march to 
Kiev, "to slit the bellies of the Jewish commissars, to 
set aside the commune and re-establish the 'true Bolshe- 
vist order I' ' They allowed a representative of the 
Soviet power to have his say, and after hearing him 
they deliberated and persisted in their former resolu- 
tion. In full fighting form the regiment marched to 
Kiev. The political commissar, who was in this case 
the principal agitator, resolved to hold another meet- 
ing in order to heighten the temper of the regiment, 
for there were a few who hesitated under the impres- 
sion of the speech of the Soviet representative. The 
political commissar made a long speech, pointed to the 
harm that would come from the "commune" and said 
that the war must be ended altogether. "Let us re- 
move the commune, make peace with Denikin and go 
home." These words acted like an electric spark, "He 
invites us to make peace with the landed proprietors, 
he is a traitor !" The unfortunate speaker was put in 
chains, handed over to the representatives of the Soviet 
government, and the regiment was ordered to the Deni- 
kin front. 

The Batko flesh of the flesh and blood of the blood 
of the village stands close to the village in his tem- 
per, thought, life and character. The Batko is not 
always an ordinary peasant. As we shall see later, the 
most important Batki are highly developed persons 
with European education. But they can put them- 
selves in the position of the village, think its thoughts 
and ideals, make its desires and moods their own and 
embody the will of the Ukrainian peasant. They are 
able to lead the peasant masses, who yield them respect 


and obedience so long as they give expression to the 
will of the village. The Batko understands how to 
take the peasant, and knows how to win him over by 
social or national motives. The Batko is perfectly 
familiar with the revolutionary phraseology and adapts 
it successfully to the level of the peasant. He is pri- 
marily a demagogue. In his speeches and proclama- 
tions, the Batko expresses himself in favor of the 
Soviet power without the communists. He demands 
besides that the Rada be controlled by the village. He 
is against the bourgeoisie and against the communists, 
but for the Bolsheviki. Often he expresses himself to 
the effect that the communists treat the bourgeoisie too 
gently. The Batko is opposed to a centralized govern- 
ment and its apparatus. He demands a free associa- 
tion of anarchistic peasant communities with the Batki 
at the head. Socially the program of the Batki is 
primitively anarchistic: "Rob, requisition, take posses- 
sion of the cities, take Yekaterinoslav, take Kiev, take 
Kharkov, the cities belong to you, take away the 
property of the wealthy classes." 

Hand in hand with the anarchistic phrase and the 
attacks against the Kiev Soviet government, the anti- 
Semitic pogrom agitation moved through the land. 
The Soviet power was, according to their idea, a for- 
eign government of Moscovitish- Jewish origin, which 
the village did not understand. The peasant knew only 
that they wanted to take everything out of the village 
and give him in return colored little papers, which 
were found in the village in plenty. He knew it was a 
government which proceeded against the village with 
armed force. In very many cases Jews were the 
agents of the Soviet government in the villages and 
districts. They often neglected the interests of the 


local population and had no regard for them. The 
mistakes, abuses and offences of the local agents of the 
Soviet power were noted and utilized in a definite way 
by the anti-Soviet powers, who represented them as 
characteristic qualities of the "Jewish nation," which 
ruled over the "orthodox" peasant. The poison of the 
anti-Semitic agitation flowed in a wide stream over 
the whole of the Ukraine. The Batki understood 
clearly the value of the Jewish pogrom as a political 
weapon, established by the Directory. They saw the 
real results of Jew baiting in the unruliness of the 
mob which was so necessary for them. Giving up the 
Jewish population to the village as booty seemed to the 
Batki advantageous in many respects. 

In the first place those Jews in the cities and dis- 
tricts who had become rich during the German rule 
possessed objects which the Ukrainian peasant needed 
urgently, as for example household articles and, what 
was most important, clothing, linen and shoes, of which 
nothing could any longer be found in the village. Even 
a pair of old shoes of a poor Jew excited the atten- 
tion of the village population, rich in grain and Keren- 
sky money and poor in everything else. During the 
pogroms the Jewish population, those who were mur- 
dered as well as those who survived, were stripped of 
everything to the last shirt. The Batki in the neighbor- 
ing villages successfully vied with each other in popu- 
larity by declaring the Jewish possessions as the prop- 
erty of the peasants and by distributing the plundered 
Jewish goods free of cost to the "most needy" or by 
instituting "cheap sales." This method of satisfying 
the needs of the village received wide imitation. In 
the second place national baiting was a means of unit- 
ing to a certain extent the heterogeneous peasantry. 


This was especially important at those moments when 
the middle peasants vacillated between the right and 
the left under the pressure of the danger threatening 
from the right. When the political program of the 
Batki at this or that moment did not correspond to the 
temper of the peasants, national baiting had to fill the 
lacuna in its reciprocal relations. 

In the third place the identification of Jews and com- 
munists (which, however, did not hinder them from 
at the same time declaring the Jews to be bourgeois and 
thus summoning the population to murder and pillage) 
made it possible for them to carry on the fight against 
their dangerous enemies, the Soviet power. "Down 
with the communists, down with the Jewish commis- 
sars !" This was the motto of Shtogrin, a member of 
the left wing of the Ukrainian Social Revolutionists, 
who carried on simultaneously an anti-Soviet and a 
pogromophile agitation in Uman. At the hearing 
before the Extraordinary Commission he was charged 
with anti-Semitic propaganda. Asked if he did not 
know that he might have caused a Jewish pogrom, 
he replied that he had in fact incited the peasants to 
make pogroms, "for otherwise it was impossible to get 
the peasants to rise." Order No. i for the city of 
Uman which was issued after the pogrom and signed 
by Klimenko, the chief commander of the rebellious 
troops, says among other things, "The rule of the Jews 
has fallen, and the insurgents are instructed to pay no 
heed to Jewish agents and police spies." 

Kummelman reports from the district of Matusovo 
(Government of Kiev) as follows: The peasants dis- 
trusted the Soviet power, they did not take them seri- 
ously and regarded them as a foreign power, almost 
as much as the rule of the Germans. This distrust of 


the new government was artificially kept awake by the 
local intelligentzia. From the first day they took an 
attitude of opposition to the new government. The 
local Ukrainian intelligentzia, like the postmaster, 
the seminary students and the teachers, openly agi- 
tated against the Soviet power. They 'played the 
national question as the main trump. "The govern- 
ment of Petlura," the postmaster Kulik impresses 
upon the peasants, "is our real native Ukrainian gov- 
ernment, but the government of the Bolsheviki is a 
Jew government." "I was in Cherkassy," the teacher 
Palega assures the peasants, "in the Commissariat for 
the Enlightenment of the People, and what have I 
seen there? Nothing but Jews, the whole Commis- 
sariat filled with Jews." 

The social position of the Batko is various. There 
are various grades, from the Batko who controls a vil- 
lage, a district and sometimes several districts up to 
the Batko who rules over entire Governments (prov- 
inces) and plays a great political role, like Grigoriev 
and Makhno. The last named are leaders of the 
Ukrainian peasants, able men with clear political pur- 
pose. Batki like Zeleny, Struk, Angel, Yatzenko, 
Tiutiunik, Klimenko, Popov are peasants who 
have no independent policy, but are instruments of the 
leaders who know how to comprehend and formulate 
the dissatisfaction of the middle peasants. Every 
Batko has his sphere of activity. Struk worked north 
of Kiev, in the district of Chernobyl. Sokolovsky car- 
ried on his activity west of Kiev, in the district of 
Radomysl and in the neighboring part of the circuit of 
Zhitomir. South of Kiev, in the district of Tripolie 
on the Dnieper, Zeleny had his field of activity. In 
the precincts of Tarascha were Yatzenko, Golub and 


others. In the district of Brussilov we find the group 
of Mordylev; in Lipovetz the association of Soko- 
lovsky; in the district of Uman the bands of Klimenko, 
Tiutiunik and Popov; in the district of Gaisin, Voly- 
netz, and in the region of Bakhmach, Angel. Almost 
all these "small" Batki are former followers of Petlura 
(whom the Directory gave object lessons in political 
fighting, which they have put to good use) and work 
always within the limits of their homes. 

Struk is a twenty-three year old peasant from the 
village of Grini near Gornostaipol ; Sokolovsky comes 
from the village Gorbulevo, nineteen versts from Rado- 
mysl, and is the son of a deacon of the village. Zeleny 
lives in Tripolie, is a son of a local cabinet maker and 
attained the rank of corporal in the war. Mordylev 
comes from the village Zabylachy, not far from Brus- 
silov. Sokolovsky was formerly a lower official of 
the agrarian administration of Lipovetz. Volynetz 
was born in the village Karlovka near Gaisin. He is a 
peasant of 23, former clerk of the Forestry adminis- 
tration. Yatzenko was born in the village Kershan, 
three versts from Tarascha. He is about 24 years 
old, attended a school of two classes in Tarascha, be- 
came a follower of Petlura in March and initiated 
his activity with Jew baiting. "The Jews are all com- 
munists, they defile our churches and change them into 

The leading Batki often go over from one govern- 
ment to the other. This is true of Grigoriev, for ex- 
ample, who watered a great part of the Ukraine with 
Jewish blood. Under the Hetman he held a respon- 
sible position in the economic department of the ad- 
ministration and came in close contact with the village 
(he is a native Ukrainian from the city of Alexan- 


dria in the Government of Kherson). Going from 
village to village, he organized groups of insurrec- 
tionists, at the head of which he raised the banner of 
Petlura. The ambition to make a career, the desire to 
be more conspicuous, the comprehension of the tenden- 
cies of the peasants at that time who were attempting a 
reaction against German rule and wishing for a radi- 
cal power of the extreme left, induced him to put 
himself on the side of the Soviet government. Grigo- 
riev placed himself at the head of strong associations 
of freebooters and in a whirlwind campaign conquered 
the whole south, including Odessa. But he was not 
satisfied with being a leader of a Soviet army. He was 
casting eyes on the position of an independent ruler of 
South Russia and dreamed of a dictatorship of his 
own. He systematically encouraged unbridled con- 
duct among his troops, did everything to please their 
instincts and desires and gave them to understand that 
they could do anything they liked as long as they were 
masters of Odessa. It is significant that as long as he 
had not broken with the Soviet government and had 
not refused to obey the military commands given to 
him to go to the Rumanian front, Grigoriev abstained 
from all national baiting. In Odessa his bands robbed 
the population under the pretext of fighting the bour- 
geoisie, but there were no serious excesses or pogroms. 
After the Soviet government declared Grigoriev an 
outlaw, he adopted a means that had been long proved 
in Ukraine to weld together his united bands. He 
identified the Soviet government with Judaism and 
preached its destruction. 

Grigoriev issued his manifesto of sad memory, 
"Universal" (addressed to all the people), which has 
had a very unfortunate significance for the Ukrainian 


Jews. This manifesto written in revolutionary phrase- 
ology demands at the end the removal of the Soviet 
government, formed of "foreign elements from the 
ever hungry land of Moscow and the land where 
Christ was nailed to the cross," and the murder of the 
Jews. The watchword of Grigoriev found an echo in 
the Ukrainian village. It was taken up in the several 
localities by the local Batki as well as by the bands 
of the Black Hundred in the Ukrainian cities and vil- 
lages, and especially by the ultra-reactionary anti- 
Semitic intellectuals who are found in plenty in the 
cities and small towns, and was carried farther. This 
is extremely characteristic of the period of Grigoriev, 
which may be regarded in this respect as the fore- 
runner of Denikin. Thus in the country town of Goro- 
dische, in the Government of Kiev, a former officer 
Gritsai stood at the head of Grigoriev' s men. The 
pogrom was led by a small group of residents, teachers 
and students of the local gymnasium and agricultural 
school. They were not only the instigators and leaders 
of the pogrom, but also soon took active part in pillage 
and murder. In the town of Zlatopol (Government of 
Kiev), the participants in the Jewish massacres were 
not only the poorer classes, but also a part of the 
intelligentzia, as far as they belonged to the Black 
Hundred or sympathized with them. In the town of 
Stavische, in the same Government, a town of more 
than one thousand peasant families, there were among 
the participants in the pogrom many landed proprie- 
tors, students, clergy, who openly designated them- 
selves as members of the "White Guard/' The ter- 
rible massacre in Yelisavetgrad took place under the 
watchword, "Cut down the Jews, cut down the com- 
munists!" The Rabbi of Mirgorod testified at his 


examination that the soldiers seized him, pointed at 
him and cried, "You are a communist, you Jewish 
snout!" In Boguslav it was the peasants who robbed 
and murdered the Jews on the ground that they were 
all Bolsheviki and communists. The same thing hap- 
pened in Tarascha and in dozens and hundreds of 
places in which Grigoriev's bands instituted pogroms. 
In Cherkassy the pogromists literally cut down all 
Jews, saying to them, "You want to rule over us, to 
use violence against us!" Especially characteristic of 
the movement instigated by Grigoriev is the fact that 
the intellectuals in their agitation in the villages used 
a new motive in addition to the old, namely that the 
Jews had done violence to the Christian religion (a 
motive suggested by the phrase in the manifesto, 
"from the land where Christ was nailed to the cross"). 
This grouping about Grigoriev not only of the civic 
elements, but also of the Black Hundred, who dream of 
the return of the tsarist order, lent to their deeds of 
horror the particularly gruesome character of an at- 
tempt to annihilate and exterminate the Jewish people. 
The pogroms everywhere followed a prearranged plan. 
The triumphal procession of the victorious Grigoriev 
took place under the sign of pogroms instituted by the 
Ataman himself and his assistants, Uvarov, Tiuti- 
unik and Nechayev. 

The Jewish persecutions in May must be attributed 
to the activity of Grigoriev. Three- fourths of them 
took place in the southeastern projection of the Gov- 
ernment of Kiev (the district between Cherkassy and 
Chigirin). The rest were enacted in the neighboring 
parts of the Governments of Kherson and Poltava. 
In a small number of cases the pogroms were instituted 
not by the bands of Grigoriev but by locally resident 


elements and under the influence of the above men- 
tioned "Universal" manifesto. 

The Jewish massacres followed each other in the 
following order : Zlatopol, May 2-5 ; Znamenka, May 
3; Lebedin, May 5; Gorodische, May 11-12; Orlovetz, 
May 12; Zolotonosha, May 12; Rotmistrovka, May 
13-14; Matusovo, May 13-14; Belozeria, May 14-15; 
Smela, May 14-15; Yelisavetgrad, 15-17; Novo-Mir- 
gorod, 17; Cherkassy, 16-21; Raigorod, 20; in the 
Sablino-Znamenk sugar factory, 20; Alexandria, 
22; Chigirin, 25; Alexandrovka, 15-18; Stepanovka, 
18; Semyonovka, 18-19; Grosstjlov, 20. 

There were pogroms at the same time in Fundu- 
keievka, Medvedovka, Kamenka, Teleschino, Station 
Bobrinsky, Tzvetkovo, Moshny, Glovbin, Kassel, 
Tomashov, Ivanovka, Vessyolaya Kuta, Vessyolaya 
Podol, and others. 

The following Jewish persecutions during the same 
month are also closely connected with Grigoriev's 
manifesto. They all belong to the district of Uman, 
situated at a greater distance from the places in which 
Grigoriev's bands resided. Of these massacres the 
most bloody were in Uman, May 1 3 ; Dubovo, 1 3 and 
14; Talnoie, 13; Kristinovka, Ladyzhenka, and the 
villages, Vyasovok, Mankovka, Ivanka, Buki and 

The remainder of Grigoriev's bands developed their 
activity also in the month of June. They destroyed in 
the Government of Kiev, Stavische, June 15; Taras- 
cha, 16; Volodarka, 20; Ryshanovka, 20; Skvira, 23; 
on the 27th they instituted a second pogrom in Alex- 
andria (Government of Kherson). 

The followers of Grigoriev destroyed a whole line 
of cities and towns root and branch, put to death or 


mutilated tens of thousands of Jews and violated 
thousands of Jewish women and girls, but the political 
aim of Grigoriev to become the ruler of the Ukraine 
was not realized. Grigoriev was able to gather the 
masses about him by the negative side of his program 
only, the hate against the "Jewish Soviet power," but 
he had nothing positive to offer. He could undermine 
the power of the Soviet government and open the gates 
to Denikin, with whom, as is reliably stated, he tried 
to get in touch, proposing to proceed in common with 
him against the Soviet government as well as the Direc- 
tory. But he was beaten. His bands divided, one 
part going over to the side of the Soviet government 
and the other devoting itself to "positive pillage" under 
the leadership of several insignificant Batki. 

Grigoriev himself fell by the hand of another Batko, 
superior to him, by the name of Makhno. Extremely 
interesting is the "resolution" passed by the followers 
of the "ideal Batko" in reference to the murder of 


OF JULY, 1919. 

"The assassination of the Ataman Grigoriev on the 
27th of July in the village of Septovo, circuit of Alex- 
andria, Government of Kherson, by the ideal leader 
of the insurrectionists, the Batko Makhno, must be 
regarded as a necessary and required historical fact, 


for Grigoriev's policy, acts and aims were counter- 
revolutionary and had the main purpose of supporting 
Denikin and other counter-revolutionists, as is proved 
by the Jewish pogroms and the arming of the thugs. 
The union of his army with that of Batko Makhno 
is explained as being necessary in order to take away 
from him all the honest freebooters, who are fighting 
for revolutionary ideas and follow him only because 
of their ignorance. 

"We cherish the hope that now no one will be found 
who will sanction Jewish pogroms, and that the work- 
ing people will in their honesty rise against the 
counter-revolutionists like Denikin and others, as well 
as against the Bolsheviki and communists who are es- 
tablishing a dictatorship by force with the help of mer- 
cenary Magyars, Chinese and Letts. The followers of 
Makhno regard it as their revolutionary duty to take 
upon themselves the historical consequences of this 
assassination. Down with Jewish pogroms ! Long live 
the revolutionary uprising of the Ukraine ! Long live 
the Ukrainian Socialist Soviet Republic ! Long live so- 
cialism !" 

The original is signed by the 

President, VITKO MAKHNO, 

Secretary, SHEVCHENKO, 

Attested by Acting Chief of Staff, MIKHAILOV, 

Attested by (signature illegible). 

Reading this resolution one might think that the 
Batko Makhno himself, who had assassinated Grig- 
oriev because he had instituted Jewish pogroms, had 
not a drop of Jewish blood clinging to his fingers. Far 
from it! The bands of Makhno were guilty of the 
maddest excesses, they devastated Jewish cities and 


towns. Makhno has thousands of murdered and 
tortured Jews on his conscience, and the complete des- 
truction of almost all the Jewish colonies in the south 
of the Ukraine is his work. The "ideal Batko" him- 
self was now for, now against pogroms, depending 
upon the political situation of the moment. 

Makhno is an intellectual, a former village school- 
master once imprisoned for a political offence, a clever 
and energetic man. During the first phase of the Rus- 
sian Revolution he was a member of the Yelisavetgrad 
Executive Committee of the labor deputies. At the 
time of the German occupation he became a popular 
personality in the Government of Yekaterinoslav, 
where he prepared the uprising against the German 
rule. Makhno was regarded by the village population 
as one of those "holy fighters'' for the cause of the vil- 
lage who put an end to a regime which atempted to 
carry everything away from the Ukraine and to estab- 
lish a terroristic rule upon the flat country. Like the 
bands of Grigoriev, the insurrectionist bands of 
Makhno also occupied a whole line of points in the 
south (on the i8th of March they occupied Berdi- 
ansk; on the 3ist, Melitopol, Ochakov, Sivash) which 
went over to the side of the Soviet government. 
Makhno had not definitely inscribed himself 
with the Soviet power, therefore they were 
not so painfully affected by his treason as by that 
of Grigoriev. 

Makhno, covered with glory as he was, constantly 
tried to utilize his popularity among the peasants of the 
Yekaterinoslav and neighboring governments for an 
independent policy. He called himself an anarchist, but 
denied all connection with the party he wanted to be 
more anarchistic than the anarchists. In general his 


politics in relation to his own followers as well as the 
peasants in the neighborhood was characterized by the 
attempt to distribute among them, especially among the 
poorest, the property, mainly Jewish, which had been 
plundered and collected in the small towns. Thus he 
took possession of salt in the south (a very rare 
and therefore a very expensive product) and had it 
distributed free to the peasants. As regards the Soviet 
power he was the typical representative of the temper 
prevailing among the middle peasants. He never stood 
on the side of the Soviet government. During the first 
period, after the fall of the German rule, he supported 
the Soviet power because he regarded it as stronger 
and more consistent than the Directory, but he opposed 
it as being a city power. At the same time he was 
an opponent of the volunteer army of Denikin, an op- 
pressor of the peasants and fighter for the reestablish- 
ment of the pre-revolutionary order. He defended the 
Soviet power and at the same time opposed the "Bol- 
sheviki and the communists, who established a dicta- 
torship by force with the help of hired Magyars, 
Chinese and Letts." When danger threatened from the 
right, he was ready to fight against Denikin. He 
fought against Grigoriev and assassinated him. He 
justified this act by Grigoriev* s anti-revolutionary atti- 
tude, which expressed itself in Jewish pogroms, and 
was even ready to negotiate with the Kiev government. 
But when Makhno fought against the Soviet gov- 
ernment, he summoned his people to murder and exter- 
minate the Jews, using the watchwords which are 
already familiar to us. As a personality, Makhno is not 
a typical Batko. He is too individualistic in his 
make-up. As a politician, however, he is the most 
typical of them all, for he embodies completely at 


every moment the interests and desires of the middle 
peasants of the Ukrainian village. 

Interesting but not typical is the third prominent 
personality on the dark horizon of the Batko insti- 
tution, Mazurenko, who calls himself in his pronunci- 
amentos and proclamations the chief of the insurrec- 
tionists, the oldest among the numerous and small vil- 
lage and circuit Batki. Mazurenko comes from a well- 
known Ukrainian family, whose members have been 
active in public and political life. He is an intellectual 
in the European sense of the word. At the beginning 
he held responsible positions in the service of the Soviet 
government. He was the head of the Art Department 
of the whole Ukraine and member of the Ukrainian 
Council of Labor Deputies. He belongs to the left 
wing of the Ukrainian Social Democracy (the Inde- 
pendent Social Democracy), who are trying to democ- 
ratize the Soviet system in the Ukraine by giving the 
controlling influence in the Soviet organs to the repre- 
sentatives of the peasants. One can scarcely imagine 
that the humane Mazurenko later became the author of 
a whole series of terrible Jew baiting pamphlets, in 
which he incited the people to pogroms. 

We designated above in detail the names and spheres 
of activity of the most important among the lower 
Batki. They overran the whole Ukraine and caused 
terrible devastation in "their" districts. The Jewish 
population depends entirely upon the temper of the 
Batki and their bands. There is no escape. The whole 
Ukraine is divided into a number of such districts, in 
which cities and railway junctions are, like desert isl- 
ands, to be met with only rarely, and which the Soviet 
power is able to hold for a while. But the moment a city 
gets into the hands of such a band, the Jewish popula- 


tion is plundered and murdered, until the Soviet govern- 
ment succeeds in getting possession of the place again. 

From the end of March the bands began a system- 
atic activity. In the precinct of Radomysl the Soko- 
lovsky bands did their work. In April it was mainly 
Struk who developed a feverish activity covering the 
precinct of Chernobyl. In the days from the seventh 
to the twelfth of April, the bands raged in Chernobyl 
(sic) itself. At the beginning of the following month 
(May 3) Gornostaipol was destroyed, and the next 
day (May 4) Ivankov met a similar fate. In the time 
intervening they did murder and death in a whole line 
of neighboring villages and settlements, especially on 
the banks of the Dnieper, where they stopped ships and 
drowned the Jewish passengers. By the end of August 
there were thirty-two such places. During the whole 
month of April Sokolovsky raged in his district. Zel- 
eny's bands too made their appearance hard by Kiev. 
In the days from the 7th to the i$th of April they 
devastated Vasilkov, the village Olshanka, and others. 
In the circuit Tarascha freebooters also appeard on 
the scene, who did their criminal work in Boguslav 
between the 4th and 25th of April. 

In the following months the bands continued their 
horrible activity. Radomysl had to suffer again on 
the 1 3th of July. On the I5th of June the bands were 
in Brussilov; on the 2Oth in Khodorkov; on the 24th 
in Cherniakhov, then in Kornip. On the I7th of 
June a pogrom was again made in Dubovo; Obykhov 
was plundered at the same time, and on the 25th of 
June, Kagarlyk. 

The pogrom activity of the bands assumed a speci- 
ally dangerous scope in the month of July in the gov- 
ernments of Podolia, Kiev and Volhynia, Kiev suf- 


fering most as in the preceding month. It has been 
exactly established that the number of pogroms in the 
government of Kiev during the month in question was 
26, in Volhynia 8, in Podolia 13. In the Government 
of Kiev the accursed work was done by the bands, in 
the two other governments the regular troops of Pet- 
lura also participated. 

Of new districts which had hitherto been spared, 
the first to be affected was the circuit Pogrebische, 
in which pogroms were instituted in Borshchagovka on 
the 3rd of July; in Dzunkov on the 5th; in Novo- 
Fastov on the nth; in Volodarka and a number of 
neighboring villages on the 2nd, 9th, and nth. To 
the west of these places near the boundary of Vol- 
hynia, the pogromists were in Priluki on the 4th of 
July ; in Vakhnovka on the 8th ; in Turbov on the 9th 
and in Kalinovka on the I4th. In the district of Soko- 
lov-Roshevo a Jewish massacre took place on the 
3rd of July; in Makarov on the 6th; in Brussilov on 
the 5th; in Kornip on the 9th; in Yassnogorodka on 
the 1 5th. In the sphere of activity of the Batko Zel- 
eny, pogroms took place in Rzhischev on the ist and 
1 3th of July, in Kosin on the I7th; in Pereyaslev 
(Government of Poltava) on the I5th to the ipth of 
July. In the circuit Tarascha the pogrom heroes 
distinguished themselves on the 2nd of July in Boyarki, 
on the nth to the 24th in Koshevatoie. Finally at 
the end of the month, on the 29th of July, a new blood 
bath took place in Uman. 

In the government of Volhynia the pogroms in 
July are distributed as follows: Kodry (6 and 15), 
Khamovka (9 and 11), Kamenny-Brod, Kotelnya and 
Sarubintzy (10), Dombrovitzy (10), Slovechno (10), 
Ksavrov (10). 


In the government of Podolia, pogroms took place 
in the following localities: Zhmerinka (July 3) ; Brai- 
lov, Pikov, Shenderov, Voronovitzy, Obodin (10); 
Yanov (10-15); Tulchin (14); Litin (18); Novo- 
Konstantinov, Teplik, Gaisin, Pecheri (20-25). 

Many of the places mentioned were visited by the 
pogromists more than once (Radomysl, Cherniakhov, 
Kornip, Volodarka, Yelisavetgrad, and others). In 
some places there were as many as four, five and even 
ten pogroms until the Jewish population disappeared 
entirely and no trace of Jewish possessions was left. 

In August the number and extent of pogroms was 
comparatively small. Pereyaslev, in the government of 
Poltava, was again visited by the bands of Lopatkin. 
On the 3rd of August Jewish persecutions took place 
in Vinnitza ; on the 4th in Golovanevsk ; on the 25th in 
Bielaia Tserkov. 

The watchwords of the bands of the Batki are the 
same as those of Petlura's men, with variations now 
and then. In Matusovo the Jews were attacked by 
the bandits under the motto, "Will you, Jewish rabble, 
still keep ruling over us?" In Slovechno the mas- 
sacre was accompanied by the words, "Here is your 
commune for you, here is your Jewish Empire !" In 
Chernobyl, Struk's bands rushed into the Jewish 
houses, shouting and shrieking, "Open, you commu- 
nist Jews, or we will beat you to death, we will 
slit your bellies and drown you!" Struk's chieftains 
explained to their bandits the purpose of their coming 
as being to plunder and drown the low communists 
who rob the workmen and peasants. "Low commun- 
ists" means the Jews. In his proclamations Struk al- 
ways spoke of the communists and the capitalistic 
defenders of the Jews. Now and then the motto was 


enlarged by adding the motive of the independence 
of the Ukraine. In a popular assembly in Chernobyl, 
Struk called out to the crowd, "Kill the Jews and 
save the Ukraine!" In Radomysl Sokolovsky's band 
forced the Jews, before they were shot, to sing, "The 
Ukraine is not yet lost." 

As stated before, the activity of the bands and of 
their Batki had terrible consequences for the Jewish 
population of the Ukraine. The question arises what 
were the relations between the Batko institution and 
the Directory. As said before, a whole line of Batki 
were followers of Petlura. In the school of Petlura 
and of the Directory they learned the custom and 
the practice, the inclination and the political wisdom 
of carrying on the fight against Bolshevism by means 
of Jewish persecutions. The institution of the Batko 
supplements the pogrom activity of the Directory. 
As long as the Batki carried on it was not neccessary, 
except occasionally, to have recourse to military pog- 
roms. The latter demoralize the army, undermine dis- 
cipline and change the troops into a band of robbers 
and murderers, which naturally is highly undesirable 
for the state force. The institution of the Batko is a 
local phenomenon, which affects mainly the local peas- 
ant population and appears irresponsible in respect to 
public opinion in western Europe. The Batki need not 
put any restraint upon their activities in persecuting the 
Jews, in the interest of high politics. Before the En- 
tente the Batki could be designated as "local robbers." 
At the same time they carry out in splendid fashion the 
dirty work of intimidating the Jewish population, dis- 
organizing the cities and towns and in this way fight- 
ing the Soviet power. The Directory enjoyed the 
fruit of the Batko institution. The former tried there- 


fore to organize the uprisings, to centralize the efforts 
of the insurrectionists and to guide their activity in a 
definite direction. In the army reports are found not 
only communications concerning the movements on 
Petlura's front, but also data concerning the aims on 
the front of the insurrectionists. In August, 1919, 
Petlura and Denikin approached Kiev simultaneously 
under cover of the bands of Zeleny and other Batki 
who had forced their way into the city. 

The Batko of all Batki, Mazurenko, stood very near 
to the Directory, and it is very probable that he was 
the connecting link between it and the insurrec- 
tionists. There is evidence that the Directory 
sent special emissaries to the points of insurrection for 
the purpose of maintaining proper connection between 
itself and the Batki. But even apart from this, 
the Directory showed the bloody example and 
by the political utilization of the terrible weapon, 
created the conviction throughout the Ukraine that 
Jewish pogroms were not punished, that the posses- 
sions of the Jews might be plundered, that Jewish 
women might be violated and that there was no pro- 
hibition against the annihilation of the Jews. 

This conviction created the atmosphere in which the 
elemental force of the masses, aroused and excited in 
the process of the revolutionary ferment, could be 
guided in the direction of annihilating this defenseless 
nation for the sole purpose of thereby injuring the 
political enemies of the Directory. The Directory 
fanned the national hate, drew forth from the depths 
of the Ukrainian national soul the slumbering dis- 
trust and antipathy, planted in the course of histori- 
cal development, against the Jews as strangers, the 
Jews as commercial middlemen, the Jews as the former 


farmers of the lord's estates, who were hanged by the 
ancestors of the peasant of to-day together with the 
priest and the Polish "pan" (proprietor of great 
landed estates). The Directory knew how to awaken 
this hate and to give it a definite form and di- 
rection and a definite political content. No wonder, 
therefore, that this Machiavellian method bore such 
fruit. The agitation of the Directory was not merely 
an incitement of the masses in an indefinite way, it was 
in actual content an unequivocal instigation to murder 
the Jews. The lamentations and pharisaic attempts 
at justification, to the effect that the Directory could 
not control the bands or the crowds, that the latter had 
gone further than the Directory had intended, can 
not exculpate it in any way, not even legally, not 
to say morally and politically. It is not merely that 
it could have foreseen the consequences of its doings, 
it did foresee them, it desired them, counted on them 
and took advantage of them. What is known in 
criminal law as "excess of the executor" does not ap- 
ply here. Here the executors played the motif whis- 
pered to them, with the precision of a virtuoso, and 
did it to the greatest satisfaction and joy of the in- 

In August the pogrom crowds became smaller. The 
political situation changed. The Bolsheviki were driven 
from the Ukraine. Petlura and his people attained 
what they wanted the enemy was beaten. The 
beneficiary of the success, however, was another. 
Denikin occupied Kharkov, Yekaterinoslav, Poltava, 
and was approaching Kiev. The changed situation 
demanded other methods of fighting. The method of 
Jewish massacres was no longer needed, and so was 
given up. As already mentioned, the Directory 


even passed a resolution to fight against pogroms. To 
be sure there was another element here that must be 
mentioned. According to communications sent to us 
from many sides and according to the existing reports 
of the Ukrainian papers, the standpoint of international 
politics was also taken into consideration in the pogrom 
agitation. Not only the heads of the political bodies, 
but the village intellectuals and to a certain extent even 
the masses were aware of the significance of the inter- 
national position of the Ukraine. The Ukrainian flat 
country had had a thorough object lesson in this mat- 
ter, such as the German occupation with its stringent 
regime, the occupation of Odessa and the southern 
coast by the Allies, the negotiations of the Directory 
with the Allies through General Grekov, and so on. 
Suffering from want of the most absolute necessities, 
manufactured ware, shoes, salt, machines, etc., the 
Ukrainian village was eager for commercial relations 
with western Europe. The village intellectuals repre- 
sented by the priests and teachers (we have seen that 
they took an active part in the excesses of the bands) 
carried on their agitation by saying that the Entente 
desired the destruction of the Bolsheviki. As Jews and 
communists were the same, Jewish pogroms would 
represent the gift which the Ukrainian people must 
present to the Entente, and the latter would not be long 
in signifying their recognition of the Ukrainian people 
in return. Now in August the Jewish pogroms as a 
method of fighting proved themselves not only useless, 
but, as was said before, harmful for the reason that 
the vague rumors of the massacres which had pene- 
trated to the West had produced great public indigna- 
tion. The withdrawal which was now whispered to 
the regular trpops by the Directory was understood 


by their devoted Batki. . . . The pogroms diminished 
in violence, they were no longer all-destructive, but 
like the distant thunder of a past storm, they as- 
sumed the innocent form, according to Ukrainian 
concepts, of pillage of Jewish possessions and occa- 
sional acts of violence and murder. 

We learned later from a reliable source that Batko 
Makhno had issued a proclamation to his insurrec- 
tionists, in which he ordered them to discontinue Jew- 
ish pogroms, for "according to a communication of 
Batko Petlura, the Entente is very much dissatisfied 
on that account" a step which seems very likely on 
the part of the wise and far sighted Makhno. 


THE political fight against the Soviet power was car- 
ried on not only in the Ukraine, but also in Great Rus- 
sia, in many cases under the cover of anti-Semitism. 
The press of the Black Hundred of all shades is never 
weary of enumerating the Jewish commissars, Jewish 
Popular commissars, Jewish members of the Central 
Executive Committee, etc. The Soviet power, they 
say, is a Jewish power. The Russians who belong to 
the Soviet Government do so as a result of a misunder- 
standing, and there are very few Russians in it. As 
for the Russian masses, the good natured Ivan allows 
himself to be taken in by the shrewd Jew, who is aim- 
ing for world rule. The dull, obtuse and ignorant 
masses for the moment follow the Jewish leaders, 
who turn their heads, unchain their passions and show 
themselves complacent to their lower instincts. 

Mamontov in Great Russia, Petlura and Denikin in 
the Ukraine, together with their followers, drew from 
this theoretical postulate the practical conclusion that 
the armed fight against the Soviet power must be sup- 
ported and strengthened by Jewish pogroms. The 
Soviet Government was obliged to strike at the root of 
all anti-Semitic agitation, for such agitation was the 
unmistakable sign of opposition to the Soviet. The 
agitations of the anti-Semites were in the great major- 



ity of cases the precursors of hostilities against the 
Soviet power. Anti-Semitic agitation was therefore 
regarded in Great Russia as a counter-revolutionary 
act. The guilty were brought to account before the 
revolutionary tribunal and condemned to severe penal- 
ties in the form of hard labor. 

To the nightmare of Jewish pogroms in the Ukraine 
belong also the anti- Jewish excesses and pogroms by 
bands calling themselves "Reds" and belonging at the 
moment in question to the Ukrainian Red Soviet army. 

In proportion to the entire number of Jewish per- 
secutions the excesses of these people play an insignifi- 
cant role. They concern themselves mainly with rob- 
bery and theft, although, as for example in Theophipol, 
some deaths must also be laid at their door. Of all the 
violence done the Jews the following instances only are 
attributable to them. 

i. Pogrom in Rossovo (March 3). After the 
shameful deeds committed by Petlura's men, the city 
was occupied by a Bolshevist "mounted advance 
guard" who freed the city from the bands of Petlura's 
men. Later Makhno's bands entered the city and rob- 
bed and killed the Jews. Makhno's men were followed 
by the first Ducat cavalry regiment of Zolotonosha. 
After the cruelties perpetrated by Makhno's men, the 
Jews did not receive the regiment in a friendly way. 
The soldiers, however, quieted the population, con- 
demned the conduct of their comrades who had come 
before, promised a strict investigation of the affair, 
instituted a search in the houses of suspected persons, 
took away from them what they had plundered of the 
Jews and gave it back to their owners. This regiment 
soon left. Peasants from the neighborhood of Rossovo 
killed the commander of a certain Red troop. A divis- 


ion sent from Mironovka (it is not certain what divis- 
ion it was) instituted a pogrom among the Jews. They 
were accused of being enemies of the Soviet power 
"We must avenge on you the murder of our com- 
mander. " Then came the demands, "Give money, gold, 
silver, etc." The Jewish population was plundered, 
beaten and killed. 

2. Pogrom in Korosten (March 12). Excesses 
were committed by members of the Red Army, who 
even demanded the delivery of their own officer who 
had defended a Jewish woman from a soldier who had 
taken away from her twenty pounds of sugar. 

3. Pogrom in Cherniakhov, Government of Vol- 
hynia. On the i8th of April the Qth Soviet regiment 
passed the unfortunate spot which had suffered any 
number of pogroms. There was much pillage, in 
which peasants also took part. The soldiers justified 
their conduct by alleging that the Jews supported Pet- 
lura. There were none killed. 

4. Annopol, Government of Volhynia. In the com- 
plaint addressed to the Section for Social Relief, the 
Jews of the place speak of plunder and excesses by the 
Taraschan regiment. There were no death victims. 

5. Volochisk, Government of Volhynia. In the 
complaint to the Revolutionary Committee the Jewish 
population report excesses by members of the Red 
Army. No cases of death are reported. 

6. Pillage by a Soviet regiment in Vasilkov, in 

7. Pillage by the Sumsky regiment in the town of 
Gorodische (May 3ist), in which Jewish members 
of the Red Army also took part. There was robbery 
but no murder. 

8. Uman. Here the eighth Soviet regiment of free- 


hooters carried on its activities twice. On the 22nd of 
March the freebooters instituted a great predatory 
expedition. On the 22nd of May after a terrible pog- 
rom made by bands, the same regiment came again to 
Uman, and began to plunder the population, especially 
the Jews, en masse. There was murder and rape of 
women and girls. Many Jewish freebooters belonged 
to the regiment, who were known in the city as pro- 
fessional thieves. 

From the detailed minutes of a meeting of party 
functionaries and public men of the city of Uman it 
can be seen that the local authorities were trying to 
fight these excesses. Orders were issued making 
participation in the pogrom punishable with death, 
and about ten of the less important bandits were shot. 
But the military authorities did not succeed in check- 
ing the anti-Semitic sentiment that prevailed in the 
regiment. Up to the first days of July this regiment 
was not replaced by another despite the urgent request 
and categorical demands of the authorities of Uman, 
who repeatedly made appeals orally and in writing to 
the authorities at Kiev. The regiment could not be 
relieved because of the critical situation on the outer 
and inner front, and also for the reason that authori- 
ties held the eighth regiment, which was reputed to be 
an important body of fighters, in readiness to keep 
down the insurrectionary movement in the precinct of 
Uman. It is clear from the same minutes that the 
eighth regiment did in fact prove itself a dangerous 
opponent in defending the cities against the insurrec* 
tionary forces who made the district unsafe the whole 
time and attempted again and again to take posses- 
sion of Uman. The troops of Tiutiunik, Popov and 
Klimenko were defeated, and their arms, equipment 


and munitions were taken away from them. As long 
as the eight regiment remained in Uman there was no 
fear of its being occupied again by the insurrec- 
tionists with a possible repetition of the first terrible 

It was relieved later by the first Ukrainian Soviet 
Cavalry Regiment. With the departure of the eighth 
regiment the plundering also ceased. To be sure, this 
regiment too was not very friendly to the Jewish popu- 
lation, but plundering happened only occasionally. A 
company of this regiment which committed acts of 
violence in the villages demanded among other things 
that the people give up the "communists and the 
Jews." In a certain village the soldiers of this com- 
pany were on the point of killing a Jewish girl because 
according to their opinion she turned the heads of the 
men by her beauty. 

On the fifth of July the regiment proceeded from 
Uman to Poltava. In its place came the Fourth Inter- 
national Soviet Regiment. This regiment was the first 
disciplined body of Soviet soldiers that the people of 
Uman saw. No more robbery, no more murder took 
place on account of national or class divisions. The 
population of the town was able to breathe freely 

9. Jewish pogrom in Zolotonosha. 

10. Pogrom in Obuchovo (May 7; 6th Soviet regi- 

11. Pogrom in Pogrebische (May 18; 8th Soviet 

12. A violent pogrom in Theophipol, Government of 

According to a brief report of A. Wertheim, auth- 
orized agent of the Red Cross for the support of the 


victims of the pogroms, the Fourth Taraschan Soviet 
Regiment and the second cavalry brigade, having 
defeated a Petlura company of 120 peasants and 27 
Jews, entered the town without the slightest offer of 
resistance by the population. Directly after the occu- 
pation of the place, the soldiers began to rob, plunder 
and set houses on fire. About 300 persons were 
killed, about 150 houses were burned, and a number 
of women and girls were violated. Further details 
are wanting. 

All the pogroms and excesses were expressly military 
in character. Before we go on to show how the Soviet 
power fought politically and by means of agitation 
against the anti-Semitic spirit of the troops, how they 
fought against it from the first day of their appearance 
in the Ukraine we will describe the constitution and 
character of the military bodies belonging to the Red 

The overwhelming majority of the Soviet troops 
consisted at the time in question of insurrectionist 
bands of freebooters. Some of these were formed 
independently, others went over during the fight from 
Petlura to the freebooters after the second occupation 
of Kiev by the Soviet troops. Finally there belonged 
to them also in part the bands of Makhno and Grigo- 
riev who remained loyal to the Soviet government. 
These troops consisted of Ukrainian peasants. Like 
all Ukrainian freebooters they were radical in senti- 
ment. One charteristic of theirs is antipathy to 
strangers, especially Jews. They are therefore easily 
accessible to anti-Semitic agitation, especially in mo- 
ments of doubt when they are not ckar what attitude 
they should assume toward the Soviet power. They 
are always vacillating in their loyalty to the Bolshevist 


government. Again and again they go from the Soviet 
power to the side of Petlura or the Batki. After a 
defeat or an unsuccessful uprising they go back to the 
Soviet troops. Often it happens that certain portions 
of the troops declare themselves "independent," retain- 
ing the entire revolutionary phraseology and watch- 
words. They still call themselves Soviet troops but 
are in reality in the service of the enemies of the Kiev 
Soviet government. Such troops are in many cases 
under the influence of the so-called "Independent 
Ukrainian Social Democracy." This party has played 
a momentous role in the history of the Soviet power 
in the Ukraine. After they broke with the official 
social democratic party (Vinnichenko and, Petlura), 
they took into their program the principle of the Soviet 
power, instead of that of the social democracy, and 
joined the Soviet organ in the Ukraine. In conse- 
quence of their close relations to the freebooters, they 
began, after they had broken with the Soviet power 
also, to incite these people against the communistic- 
Jewish government. They are opponents of Denikin, 
but they are also opponents of a false commune. They 
are also against the power of the Jews, but are for a 
"Ukrainian Independent Socialistic Republic." This 
party was led by Mazurenko, the Batko of all Batki, 
mentioned in the last chapter. The proclamations of 
these people are so significant that it seems useful to 
quote one of them in full. 

"Comrades, Red Cossacks! ask yourselves. Were 
you not the first to rise against the force of the Ger- 
mans, have you not shed your blood for a better lot and 
life of the Ukrainian working people? Where are 
these rights that we fought for? We see, comrades, 
how we must fight our way through, while those who 


do not work hang on our necks and lead and enslave 

"Comrades ! can we not arrange our own life in our 
own house better, in the interest of the working people ? 

"What are we waiting for? Why don't we get 
these Jews out of the way? Why don't we take into 
our own hands this matter, which is so important for 
the working people? 

"Comrades, we have fought against the Hetman, 
we have learned the injustice of the Directory, we 
fought and are still fighting against Denikin and the 
reactionary officers. But if we see injustice on the 
side of the communists, Jews and similar people, are 
we not in duty bound to say, Out of our house ! You 
have done us harm! Liberate therefore, Comrades, 
our land from the Jews and other communists. 

"Long live the Soviets of the working peasantry, 
and the laboring population ! 

"Long live the local and central power of the Batki ! 

"Long live the Ukrainian independent socialistic 
Soviet republic! 

"Death to General Denikin! 

"Down with the, false commune ! 

(Signed) The Council of the Insurrectionary 
Troops of Ukrainia on the Left Side. 
The Hetman of the Troops,- LOPATKIN. 
The Chief of Staff, ZAVGORODNY." 

These troops, who call themselves Soviet troops, 
were guilty of excesses. The pogrom in Rossovo was 
also according to all probability the work of such a 
band. The sentiment of the troops who enacted these 
pogroms can be seen from their watchwords. 

The acts of violence in Zolotonosha (see above No. 


9) were perpetrated under the cry, "Ah! you are a 
communist, we will teach you!" In Vasilkov (No. 
6), the soldiers of the "Red Hundred" cried, "Down 
with the Jewish commissars!" 

It is clear that when such troops as these proceed 
against Jews, they are under the influence of another 
party hostile to the Soviet power, with which they are 
sometimes even united in the same organization. 

The bands of freebooters consisting of deserters 
were the cause of the instability and insecurity of the 
Soviet power at Kiev. They prepared its fall while 
ostensibly acting in its name and under its flag. 

The great majority of the freebooting troops finally 
fell away from the Soviet power and went over to the 
side of their enemies amid the enactment of horrible 
blood baths (Grigoriev and his people). It must be 
openly and honestly admitted that the effect of the 
Soviet government upon the troops must have been ex- 
traordinarily great, for as long as they were actually 
subject to the Soviet government at Kiev, they were 
scarcely guilty of any excesses. We see here at any 
rate that two opposite political systems (the Kiev 
Soviet government fighting against pogroms, and the 
opposite party making use of them) working on the 
same basis, namely the anti-Jewish feeling throughout 
the Ukraine, and on the same human material, led to 
entirely opposite results. 

The freebooters were not the only troops on which 
the Soviet government supported itself. In their fight 
against the unreliable troops and the excesses com- 
mitted by them, the Soviet government supported 
itself on not large but loyally devoted associations of 
communists, the so-called "International Division." 
To the communistic troops belonged members of the 


mobilized Ukrainian communistic party as well as 
workmen of other socialist parties, who were called 
to the service of the army, as a result of a resolution 
of the Soviets, by the union and trade councils. To 
prevent a dissolution of the insurrectionist troops and 
to maintain their firmness, communists were assigned 
to the several military associations. In this way a 
disciplined Red Army was formed. 

The international divisions (whose appearance, as 
mentioned before, was greeted so gladly by the Jewish 
representatives in Uman) were small and very reliable 
units made up of groups of Hungarian, Austrian and 
German prisoners, who were under the leadership of 
their Soviets. They were sent by the government to 
relieve politically unreliable troops and to fight against 
the excesses committed by the latter. At the time of 
the fight against the volunteer army of Denikin, troops 
appeared also from Great Russia in consequence of a 
resolution of the Central Executive Committee of the 
Ukraine that the military leadership of the two repub- 
lics should be uniform. 

In connection with the excesses mentioned above it 
should be stated that the constantly vacillating and un- 
reliable freebooters were under the influence of certain 
agents whom they trusted and thus betrayed the Soviet 
government. We have already referred to Grigoriev 
and Mazurenko. Beside these prominent men there 
are a number of less important ones, whom we shall 

In Cherniakov, Davidenko, the president of the revo- 
lutionary committee, who was at the same time com- 
missar for military affairs, was in connection with the 
bands of Sokolovsky. The result was a Jewish pogrom. 
In Matusovo, Government of Kiev, the following 


thing happened. A few days before the beginning of 
the excesses, the Executive committee (the highest 
Soviet organ in the place) received from Shpola a 
provocatory letter, purposely signed with a Jewish 
name (Goldstein if we are not mistaken), reading as 
follows : "The churches should be sealed and the church 
furniture and fixtures brought to Shpola." On the 
tenth" of May some riders brought to Matusovo a 
manifesto of Grigoriev, which was read on the same 
day to an assembly of the inhabitants called for the 
purpose, by Kesser, the Secretary of the Executive 
Committee. Whether that which Kesser read was 
actually contained in the copy of the manifesto handed 
to him, or whether he read something of his own 
making (which is more likely), we shall have to leave 
undecided. At any rate Kesser told the assembled 
peasants that an order had come to destroy the Jews. 
A terrible blood bath followed, due to a treacherous 
government official, who stood under the protection of 
the government and inspired confidence by his official 
position and the assurance that he was acting in the 
name and interest of the Soviet power. 

From the beginning the Soviet government in the 
Ukraine carried on a decisive battle against the lust 
for pogroms, by preventive measures and the devel- 
opment of agitation, propaganda and organizing activ- 
ity to that end, as well as by threats and strict penalties. 

In the first order issued by Rakovsky in Kharkov, 
which was repeatedly confirmed by the Soviet govern- 
ment of Kiev, the penalty of death is threatened for 
pogrom excesses of any kind, and heavy punishments 
are laid down for all anti-Jewish agitation. 

"The Jewish proletariat and the poor population are 
our confederates. The Jewish bourgeoisie is as good 


as any other. The order to fight against the Jews is a 
provocation by the enemy who wants to introduce into 
the Red Army the spirit of demoralization and betray 
the interests of the workers and peasants to their ene- 
mies." So reads a government pamphlet. At the 
same time the fight against anti-Semitism took an 
important place in the pages of the People's Commis- 
sariat for military affairs and in their political activity. 
The anti-Semitic propaganda of the enemies of the 
government became a dangerous factor in the forma- 
tion of disciplined military associations. The idea of 
the government and the people's commissariat for mili- 
tary affairs was to supplement the peasant bands of in- 
surrectionists with workmen. For this purpose they 
intensified the above mentioned mobilization through 
the unions and trade councils, and prepared the mili- 
tary education of the workmen. In addition to this 
the People's Commissariat for Military Affairs, in the 
months of March and April, turned to the Jewish soci- 
alist parties of the Labor Bund, to the United Soci- 
alists and to the Poale Zionists with the request that 
they make serious efforts to mobilize the Jewish social- 
ist workmen, pointing to the fact that all of the 
experiences of the Red Army during the last months 
showed that even the most backward and anti-Semiti- 
cally prejudiced peasants became more sensible after 
living with the Jewish workmen for any length of time, 
and were accessible to appropriate influence and en- 

*This step of the People's Commissariat for Military Affairs 
had no significance as a numerical strengthening of the troops, 
for the summons to the Red Army took place on the basis of 
the general regulations. The aim here was to utilize most effi- 
ciently the forces necessary for carrying out the task indicated. 


The political administration of the People's Com- 
missariat for Military Affairs formed besides a special 
Jewish section for propaganda, the purpose of which 
was to distribute the Jewish workmen, called to the 
service by general decree, among the several military 
units and thus to influence the troops so as to make the 
Jew-baiting propaganda ineffective. 

This section, which had branches in all parts of 
Ukrainia, received reports from various sides concern- 
ing the relation between the Jewish workmen and the 
other members of the army. According to existing 
information backward troops received the Jews with 
the greatest distrust and even animosity. Here and 
there there were also excesses. The Jewish "intru- 
ders" sometimes had to overcome the greatest difficul- 
ties. It happened sometimes that the sections were 
urgently entreated to transfer the Jews to a part of the 
army that was more tolerant. 

The second phase of the mutual relations ended 
almost always, even in the case of the most prejudiced 
parts of the army, with the admission, "They are no 
Jews, they belong to us." This was usually connected 
with discussions about Jews and anti-Semitism. This 
part of the work was hard, but it produced political 
results. Living together gradually led to a removal 
of the anti-Semitic feelings which had been implanted 
in the character of the Ukrainian peasant in the course 
of centuries of historical development. 

In addition to the political and cultural work, the 
government employed force and inflicted penalties. 
The perpetrators of anti-Jewish excesses and the 
authors of propaganda were tried and condemned as 
being counter-revolutionists. On the other hand those 


troops that were incurably anti-Jewish were isolated, 
relieved and their constituency changed. 

Thus at the end of May in Kiev a whole regiment re- 
fused to obey an order to fight, given by the chief mili- 
tary officers, and gave out the watchword, "Down 
with the Jewish commissars !" The rebels were sur- 
rounded by the loyal portion of the regiment and forced 
to execute the order. The instigators were arrested. 

In June an open rebellion broke out in another regi- 
ment that was quartered in Kiev. They were burning 
to plunder the Jews, and announced a similar watch- 
word. In both cases the agitation came from obscure 
elements, which were supported by some officers of the 
old tsarist army. 

In this last case the regiment was disarmed by the 
Kiev communistic reserve regiment and dissolved. 

An objective study of the investigations of the 
authorized agent of the relief committee of the Red 
Cross and of the annals of the Jews in the Ukraine 
leads to the conclusion that the Soviet troops preserved 
the Jews from complete annihilation. Retirement of 
the Soviet troops signified for the territory left behind 
the beginning of a period of pogroms with all their 
horrors. On the other hand the advance of the Soviet 
troops meant the liberation from a nightmare (Zhito- 
mir, Yelisavetgrad, Novo-Mirgorod, Proskurov, Goro- 
dische, etc.). 

The watchword of the Jew-haters, identifying 
Judaism and communism, had terrible consequences 
for the Jews. On the retirement of the Soviet power 
the Jews abandoned their homes and possessions and 
followed the Soviet army, being exposed to an un- 
certain existence and the prospect of dying of hunger 
or meeting death in some other way in the civil war 


that was raging. At the time of the second pogrom in 
Zhitomir the Jewish youth followed the retiring Bol- 
shevist army. In Tarascha (Government of Kiev) 
the retiring Soviet regiment was followed by almost 
the entire Jewish population (4,000 persons). The 
tragedy of the situation can only be fully realized when 
we consider that a very great part of the Jewish middle 
class are skeptical in their attitude to the Soviet power, 
and the Jewish bourgeoisie is decidedly hostile to it. 
Certain death forced the Jewish bourgeoisie to flee 
under the cover and protection of Bolshevist divisions. 

In Lebedin (Government of Kiev) a Bolshevist 
armored car came in while a pogrom was being insti- 
tuted by bandits, fetched the surviving Jews, who had 
concealed themselves in the cellars and lofts, and took 
them along, thus saving them from certain death. 

It is no wonder therefore that the Jewish youth, 
especially in the pogrom districts, tried to enter the 
Red Army without regard to their sympathies other- 
wise in regard to the Soviet power. They entered their 
ranks, seeing therein the only possibility of saving 
the lives of their nearest and the honor of their wives 
and daughters. 



THE Grigoriev uprising opened the gates wide to 
the Ukrainian volunteer army. The Ukrainian Red 
Army could not recover from the blow it received and 
was compelled to retire before the supreme power of 
the well equipped troops of the volunteer army. The 
internal front was becoming stronger, which meant 
that the Ukrainian cities were evacuated by the Soviet 
power, one after the other. Denikin occupied gradu- 
ally Kharkov, Yekaterinoslav, Poltava and finally on 
the twentieth of September, Kiev. The Ukraine was 
"freed" from the Bolsheviki. The troops of Petlura 
remained inactive. Where they opposed the volun- 
teer bands, they were disarmed. The number of Pet- 
lura's troops was small. Their position was some- 
where on the Galician frontier. There was quiet for 
a while on the internal front. It seemed as if the peas- 
ants wanted to find out first what the new ruler, the 
representative of a "united and undivided Russia," 
would bring them. The peasants had no particular 
illusions in the matter. At any rate the transfer of 
power into other hands meant a slight breathing spell. 
Besides the men of the village hoped that they would 
be able to get wares, especially manufactured goods, 
from the Entente. It was otherwise in the city. The 



upper and middle classes who more than others were 
made to feel the Soviet rule; the intellectual classes, 
who for the most part stood aloof from the Soviet 
order and while securing positions in the Soviet organ- 
izations yearned for the coming of another power, 
closer and more akin to their ideas ; the poorer citizens 
who dreamed of cheap bread and believed that the bay- 
onet of the volunteer army would bring back the five- 
kopek loaf of white bread (instead of black bread at 
the price of 50 or 60 rubles a pound) ; the nationalistic 
part of the tramp-proletariat of the Ukrainian cities, 
recruited from the Black Hundred all these set great 
hopes on the coming of the new government. The 
Jews, all except the workers, baited to death as the 
great majority of them were, awaited the new masters 
not without a feeling of unrest, but still in the quiet 
hope that instead of the unstable Soviet government 
there would finally come a government of permanent 
stability which would bring quiet to the village and 
conclude peace with the loyal portion of Jewry. 

The memorial handed to General Denikin by the 
representatives of the Jewish communities of Yeka- 
terinoslav, Kharkov, Rostov and Taurida (Bulletin du 
Comite des Delegations Juives aupres de la Con- 
ference de la Paix, No. 9), reads: 

"Ukrainian Jewry, which belongs economically to 
the poorer class of citizens (90 per cent, artisans and 
traders, 5 per cent, capitalists and only 5 per cent, 
laborers), awaited with suppressed impatience the 
coming of the volunteer army, from whom it expected 
liberation from the dictatorship of the proletariat. 
The Jewish population therefore prepared an enthusi- 
astic reception for the volunteers and was ready to 
support them with money and men." 


To be sure the expressions of humility were partly 
exaggerated. But speaking generally, the middle class 
of Jewry, not to speak for the moment of the higher 
classes at all, and perhaps also a part of the smaller 
artisans, secretly cherished the hope that the new 
government would make it possible to come to a toler- 
able understanding with it. These classes had not 
believed that the Soviet regime could be lasting. Now 
they had to feel in their own persons the "benevolent" 
policy of the Directory toward the Jews. They 
had dreamed of a tolerable and quiet life; for two 
years of boiling in the Ukrainian witches' caldron, the 
various political changes and upheavals, the pogroms, 
the Batko institution all this created in them a desire 
to be able to maintain their life in some manner or 
other. They were willing to renounce the national and 
cultural autonomy legally assured to them by the Direc- 
tory, as long as they were given their bare lives and 
the possibility of economic existence. From the 
economic standpoint the return to an order which made 
speculation legal seemed to them desirable. On 
the other hand there was a rumor that Denikin 
was well disposed to the loyal portion of Jewry. They 
even spoke of his benevolent attitude towards the 
labor unions and the socialistic organizations of the 
right (menshevist). They were skeptical also of the 
(as was assumed) party-colored reports which were 
communicated in the "Soviet News of the City of 
Kiev" concerning the cruelties of the Denikin govern- 
ment. A proclamation published by the followers of 
Denikin in Kiev speaks of his "benevolence towards the 
moderate classes and parties." About Jews specifically 
it said (I quote from memory) : "Jewish citizens, I 
know that not only the Christians but also the Jewish 


population is suffering under the Bolsheviki. The 
volunteer army brings peace to all citizens of Russia 
without regard to creed. Wait quietly for the coming 
of the volunteer army and support it, for it will pro- 
tect you from the Bolshevist terror. I am convinced 
that you will yourselves deliver up from your midst 
all scoundrels and loafers." 

Finally the volunteer army occupied Kiev and thus 
became master of the situation in the Ukraine. After 
gaining his victory Denikin thought it was time to un- 
mask and show himself before the world in his true 
ugliness. The village was again made happy with the 
landed proprietors of blessed memory. The land was 
returned to the former owners. Then came the famous 
order about the third sheaf which the peasant had to 
give up to the landed proprietor "for using the lord's 
estate." The volunteer army was not able to deliver 
/ any Entente goods at all, which the peasant needed so 
//much. On the other hand, grain was again requisi- 
tioned and confiscated. The peasant in the Ukraine 
began to use the same methods of fighting the new 
{ government as he used against the previous one. Sud- 
denly and with quick precision there grew up before 
Denikin's army the internal front already described. 
The Batki and new heroes who joined them carried on 
a stubborn, intensive and very successful fight against 
the volunteer army. The Ataman Angel started the up- 
rising in the government of Poltava and for a short 
time even occupied the outer precincts of the city of 
Poltava. The Ataman Zeleny developed an extraordi- 
nary activity south of Kiev in the precinct of the city 
of Vasilkov. It is said that it was the "division" 
Zeleny which occupied the western suburbs of Kiev. 
The Ataman Shepel developed great activity on the 


Kiev-Poltava railway line and on the highway between 
the cities of Pereyaslev and Zolotonosha on the left 
bank of the Dnieper, calling upon the peasants to rise 
against Denikin. The Batki Sokolovsky and Arbel 
succeeded in organizing quite considerable bodies of 
troops along the Kiev-Poltava railroad line, and the 
Ataman Malinov did the same in the neighborhood of 
Kherson. Makhno, however, was the man who played 
the chief role in the rise of the Ukrainian peasants 
against Denikin. His troops of freebooters continued 
their activity along the whole lower course of the 
Dnieper between Melitopol and Yekaterinoslav. A 
whole line of reports state that all the activities of the 
several units were subordinated to the united leader- 
ship of Makhno' s staff and that they were even partly 
united with his main forces. That Makhno, who had 
recognized as early as the time of Grigoriev the danger 
that a Denikin invasion would have for the Ukrainian 
middle class peasant and had fought against it, should 
have been able to step into the centre of the free- 
booter movement against Denikin is easily under- 

The internal front, the uprising of the village against 
the now "white" city, from which nothing came except 
the order "concerning the third sheaf," requisitions and 
confiscations, with the appearance of penal companies, 
had disappointed the hopes of the urban middle classes 
about cheap bread. The price of bread (which deter- 
mines all other prices) remained after some relatively 
slight variation very high (to be sure it was lower than 
under the Soviet government). The "karbovantzy" 
as well as the money of the Soviet government, the very 
medium which was current among the middle classes, 
were declared of no value. 


The Ukrainian culture was proscribed, the schools 
were closed and as a result the nationalistic tendencies 
bore the most luxuriant flowers. 

The white terror prevailed in the occupied city. In 
the mind of the Restoration Government, for in the 
last resort this is what the Denikin Government was, 
the principal crimes were the March revolution and the 
destruction of absolutism, for they had destroyed the 
"great, united and undivided Russia" and introduced 
great confusion and ruin. "All social forces, all parties 
who participated in them are equally 'seditious/ dan- 
gerous and illicit, equally deserving of persecution and 
partial annihilation. Bolsheviki, Mensheviki, Trudo- 
viki (group of laborers) or people's socialists they 
are all rebels and responsible for the reduced state of 
the land." 

Anti-Semitism was one of the fundamental elements 
of the* Restoration rule, exactly as under the tsar, and 
the rule of Denikin approached this ideal with gigantic 
steps. All traces of the "liberties" promised in the 
Kerensky period were definitely wiped out, among 
them the liberties granted to the Jews. 

The volunteer army, which was composed princi- 
pally of officers, admitted Jews also, who from the 
time of Kornilov were loyally devoted fighters for a 
democratic order and opposed to a dictatorship of the 
Bolsheviki. Denikin and his followers regarded them- 
selves as conquerors and resolved to free the army 
from Jews. In the volunteer bodies anti-Semitism was 
in full flower. The politically experienced officers saw 
in the Jews the persons responsible for all the mis- 
fortunes of Russia. They imputed to them the respon- 
sibility for the Bolshevistic terror under which so many 
persons near to them had had to suffer. They carried 


on an anti-Jewish agitation which had but one mean- 
ing. The names and pseudonyms of all Jewish Bolshe- 
vist commissars were cited to show that the Bolshevist 
government was a "Jewish government." The respon- 
sible positions in the volunteer army were held by 
members of the Black Hundred and anti-Semites. 
At the head of the department of propaganda of the 
volunteer army of Kiev stood the well known leader 
of the Black Hundred in the time of the tsar, Savenko. 
The rage against the Jews among the troops was enor- 
mous and the high command considered it its duty to 
exclude Jews from the army. In the above mentioned 
memorial, handed to Denikin by representatives of the 
Jewish communities, the following facts are cited: 
"The commander of the first infantry division sent 
back thirteen officers who had been assigned to him 
to the staff of the first army corps with an official note 
in which he requests that no Jewish officers be sent to 
him to make up his division. The commandant of the 
second railroad battalion sent back Corporal Spunt 
to the head of the army transport with the statement 
that he 'belonged to the Jewish religion, whose fol- 
lowers, as is well known, are not fit for military rail- 
road service.' The chief commander of Kharkov an- 
nounced in the newspapers that officers of the Jewish 
faith would be assigned to a special category and that 
until further notice they would be free from service." 
In a memorandum of the Central Relief Committee 
for Jews injured by pogroms in Russia, which was 
handed to the Zionist Actions Committee in London 
and to Dr. Margoline, the representative of the Ukrai- 
nian republic in London (the memorandum, by the 
way, is written with a certain bias), the following 
credible communication is found : 


By an order to the volunteer army of the 6th of 
October, 1919, sub No. 21,322, General Denikin re- 
moved all Jewish officers from the army solely because 
of their race. A deputation of representatives of four 
communities (Kiev, Kharkov, Poltava, and Yekateri- 
noslav) respectfully called to the attention of General 
Denikin that this order would indirectly incite the 
ignorant masses against the Jews, which might lead 
to new pogroms (the volunteer army had at that 
time already perpetrated several pogroms). The Gen- 
eral explained to the delegation that the order had 
been given in the interest of the state, and that 
he placed the welfare of the fatherland above 

The official information bureau of the chief com- 
mander of the volunteer army developed an enormous 
anti-Semitic agitation. Theoretically this agitation 
found expression in the sanguinary anti-Semitic arti- 
cles of the well-known follower of the Black Hundred, 
the able and talented Shulgin, a convinced monarchist 
and Jew-hater. He was the editor of the official organ 
of the Denikin government, "Velikaya Rossia" (Great 
Russia), was a member of the "Dictatorship Confer- 
ence," a minister without portfolio, and carried on 
unbridled agitation against the Jews as well as against 
all democratic elements. We quote below a quite 
lengthy extract from the "Kievlianin," from which 
can be seen his attitude to the proclamation of the 
labor unions, directed against anti-Semitism, as well 
as his attitude to the events that happened during the 
period of the pogroms instituted by the volunteer army. 
In his opinion the original sin of progressive Russia is 
the first Revolution of February and March. 
Following is an abstract of the article: 


KIEV, October 13, 1919. 

There came accidently into our hands a printed copy 
of a circular addressed by the Kiev labor union to its 
members. This circular deserves greater attention than 
it claims for itself. Even those workmen who recently 
diagnosed with apparent correctness the class struggle 
into which their ringleaders and "intensifiers of the 
Revolution" drew them, must ponder very carefully the 
contents of the circular. The same holds true of the 
whole Russian intelligentzia with whom the class- 
conscious laborers now desire to work in common, and 
also of the government which has reconquered our 
homes from their destroyers and robbers and is making 
efforts to build a common house for the whole Russian 
people and all its classes. 

The circular begins with the words : We are living 
in a terrible time. The days through which we live 
are terrible not because of the new efforts of the Bol- 
sheyiki, if only for a short time, to take to themselves 
a, few important points, our Kiev among them, from 
which they were driven out by the volunteer army, but 
because "a wave of bloody, cruel and bestial Jewish 
pogroms is approaching Kiev." 

After a lyric and dramatic description "of the 
bloody extermination of a whole people, of the loss 
again and again of thousands of new victims, of de- 
fenseless women and children, of old men and vigorous 
youths who were shot or cut down with the sword, torn 
in pieces and left to perish beneath the ruins of burned- 
down villages and towns" a description of such defi- 
niteness as if it dealt with a principle or a well-known 
fact of undoubted certainty the circular says, "Now 
this disgrace is passing through Kiev." 

"In the name of the provocatory calumnies, pub- 


lished even in the press, charging the Jews with sup- 
porting the Bolshevist advance, low elements of the city 
population, sharpers demoralized by soldiers (as has 
been established from special orders) enter the houses 
in bright daylight, impose contributions on the Jewish 
population (sic!) in amounts of hundreds of thousands 
of rubles, take away their last shirt and commit mur- 
der and excesses of all sorts. " 

So this is what happened in Kiev, and this is 
what we learn from the organ of the Kiev council of 
labor unions. This literary and political masterpiece 
would completely suffice to establish the author of the, 
doubtless, inspired circular, as well as the purpose of 
the composition. The quoted fragments are, how- 
ever, only the beginning, the necessary introduction 
merely to a lengthy explanation of the question laid 
down in the circular. What is the ground of this blind 
hate, i.e. the hate against the Jews? 

In their attempt to throw light historically upon the 
Jewish question in Poland and the Ukraine, the authors 
of the circular solve this complicated question simply, 
easily and without the slightest doubts. The respon- 
sible parties in all things are the Polish landlords, who 
left the peasants too little land, drove them into the 
net of the usurers and then took away the gains from 
the usurers themselves. The Russian peasant and the 
Jew, so it says, had to suffer equally from the land- 
lords and their rule. But the peasant did not know 
who was his real enemy and hated the Jew. When the 
Ukraine came under the rule of the tsar, there was 
no change. The tsar's government taught the people 
that all evil came from the Jews, furthered pogroms, 
supported them directly, and in this way prolonged the 
time before its downfall. Finally, however, the work- 


men and then the whole people recognized that it 
was not this or that people who were their enemy, but 
the government, under which the peasant lived in want 
and under which the workman was compelled to be 
satisfied with miserable conditions of work. The peo- 
ple rose against the real enemy and overthrew the 
tsarist regime. The enemies of the people, however, 
knew that if they could again make the latter see in 
the Jews the responsible authors of their want, they 
would place no difficulties in the way of the attempt 
to restore the tsaristic regime, which was the real cause 
of the suffering of the people. And so they began 
again to spread calumnies against the Jews, and "the 
people, wearied by harrassing agitation and exhausted 
by long years of intolerable sufferings, vents its fury 
and hate on the innocent, unhappy and tormented 
Jewish people." 

And "in this terrible moment" the Kiev council of 
the labor unions directed a passionate appeal to all 
confederates to unite in fighting for the preservation 
of that which the great revolution of 1917 had brought. 

Much can be said about this circular, as the reader 
sees. Having given extracts, we do not consider it 
necessary at this moment to say anything further about 
it. For is it really worth while to say anything about 
the "passionate appeal" to fight for the preservation of 
that which the treasonable revolution of 1917 brought 
to Russia and the Russian people, when everybody 
knows that it caused a disgraceful desertion of 
the front in the World War, a shameful betrayal 
of our common cause with the Allies, defense of the 
freedom and independence of the several states, the 
dissolution of Russia, destruction of the entire econ- 
omic life, general impoverishment and the triumph of 


Bolshevism, against which the newly rising Russia 
and the volunteer army are fighting? How much 
courage is necessary to appear publicly with such a 
circular proclamation in Kiev, which is after all still 
in the possession of the volunteer army ! How degen- 
erate the Kiev labor union must be if after the many 
acts of destruction which the Bolsheviki have caused 
in Kiev, they dare to come out openly with such an- 
nouncements F 

We repeat, the "Kievlianin" was the official govern- 
ment organ and the ideal herald of the current policy 
of the government. 

This agitation led to very definite results. The 
volunteer army was already in a state of decomposition. 
The great majority of obtuse ordinary officers dreamed 
of plunder, and in their lust and wanton unrestraint 
they saw an object of their sadistic and rapacious incli- 
nations in the lives, honor and possessions of the Jews 
who were left to their mercy, particularly since the 
official press declared these heroic deeds to be deeds of 

The pogroms perpetrated by the volunteer army took 
the following course. As soon as the volunteer army 
entered a city, one could find everywhere on the walls 
next to the official communications, proclamations 
against the Jews, which were almost all alike in form 
and content "Underlings of the Red Guard !" "To 
All" and called the people to make pogroms (evi- 
dently the authorities of the Denikin government 
simply adopted the method of the tsar's police depart- 
ment, namely to send proclamations for pogroms from 
their main printing office to the places where they 
planned to enact them). The careful memorial men- 


tioned above states that in all places without exception 
to which the volunteer troops came there invariably 
took place more or less important, but always systemat- 
ically carried out excesses, which in the great majority 
of cases developed into pogroms. "So in Kharkov 
there were robberies and acts of violence every day. In 
Yekaterinoslav all Jewish houses in the four most 
important Jewish streets were destroyed. Many Jews 
were killed, hundreds of Jewish women and girls were 

The volunteer army instituted pogroms in the fol- 
lowing places : Sinelnikov, Bespalovka, Losovaya, 
Mikhailovka, Valki, Kremenchug (350 women vio- 
lated), Motovilovka, Borispol, Grebyonka, Smela, Kor- 
sun, Germanovka, Cherkassy, Makarov, Gorodische, 
Stepany, Ignatovka, Tripolie, Rossovo, Bielaia Tser- 
kov, Fastov and Kiev. 

In Fastov the volunteers searched all the Jewish 
houses (they overlooked two houses by accident) . The 
furniture was dragged out of the houses or destroyed ; 
women were violated. All imaginable kinds of tor- 
tures and cruelties were perpetrated on the Jews. Even 
children of six weeks were slaughtered. The number 
of dead amounts to from 1,500 to 1,800. More than 
100 houses were burned down. The pogrom in Kiev 
was also terrible. On the I4th of October the city was 
again occupied by the Bolsheviki. Two days later they 
were driven out by the volunteers. Hardly had the 
city been cleared of the Bolshevist troops when an 
organized pogrom set in which lasted five days, from 
the 1 6th to the 2Oth of October. The plundering bands 
consisted for the most part of soldiers, who went from 
house to house and robbed, tortured, violated and mur- 
dered. The heart-rending cries of the victims were of 


no avail. No one came to their assistance. All the 
money and valuables that the bandits were given as 
ransom they put in their pockets, and kept on all the 
same, murdering men, dishonoring women and then 
killing them in a brutal manner or throwing them from 
the fifth and sixth stories into the street. Many were 
thrown into the Dnieper and found their death there. 
The number of killed is given at 500 to 600, the ma- 
terial loss is estimated in hundreds of millions of 

When the pogrom had reached its highest point, the 
organs of the Black Hundred, "Vecherniye Ogni" 
(Evening Fires) and "Kievlianin," published provoca- 
tory and, as was shown later, knowingly untrue state- 
ments to the effect that the Jews had shot at the troops 
as they were retiring before the Bolsheviki. In "Vech- 
erniye Ogni" data were given indicating the time of 
the shooting, the house from which it was done and 
sometimes the person who did it. An investigation 
undertaken by the "League to Combat Anti-Semitism," 
with the active cooperation of the Mayor, Ryabtsov, 
the magistrates, Butenko and Zagorsky, the high priest 
of the Greek Catholic Church, K. M. Agayev, the 
woman physician, Potkanov, the city commissioner 
Zanubin and the representatives of various public, 
trade and socialist organizations, showed that not 
one of the alleged facts stated in the papers was true. 
In many cases there were no such numbers as those 
mentioned in "Vecherniye Ogni/' 

The military censor canceled the articles which were 
brought to the above named paper for the purpose of 
fanning the pogrom sentiment, and struck out the re- 
ports of other papers about the participation of the 
troops in the pogrom and the horrors that had been 


committed. It is needless to say that no legal steps 
were taken against the instigators when the falsity of 
their reports became clear. 

The terrors of the Kiev pogrom and the cynically 
clear and definite explanation of the causes of this as 
well as the other pogroms that were perpetrated by the 
volunteer troops are shown in their most terrible pre- 
cision and clearness in the article of Shulgin, "The 
Torture of Fear." 


At night there moves in the streets of Kiev an awful 
medieval spirit. In the general stillness and emptiness 
of the streets there suddenly breaks out a heart-rending 
cry. It is the cry of the Jews, a cry of fear. In the 
darkness of the street there appears a group of "men 
with bayonets." At their sight gigantic five and six- 
story houses begin to shriek from top to bottom. 
Whole streets seized with mortal anguish scream with 
inhuman voice and tremble for their life. These awful 
cries remind one of the night of the revolution. 
Naturally this fear is exaggerated and assumes, from 
our point of view, senseless and degrading forms. 
Nevertheless it is a real anguish, a real "torture of 
fear" which has come upon the Jewish population. 
The government fights, as far as is in its power, to 
prevent robbery and murder. But the Russian popula- 
tion who hears this horrible groaning which bursts 
from the breasts of the Jews under the "torture of 
fear" thinks its own thoughts. It is thinking, 
Will the Jews in these nights of terror learn some- 
thing, will they learn what it means to incite the classes 
against each other according to the recipe of the "great 


master, Karl Marx"? Will they understand what is 
socialism, from whose bosom have come the Bolshe- 
viki? Will they understand what it means to realize 
in Russia the principle of the rule of the people ? Will 
they understand what they must now do? Will they 
go to their synagogues and before all the world pro- 
nounce a curse upon all those Jews who had a hand in 
all the confusion ? Will the mass of the Jewish people 
withdraw from the "Fathers" of the "new" regime 
with the same passionateness with which they attacked 
the old regime? Will the Jews beat their breasts, cover 
their heads with ashes and repent before all the world 
that the sons of Israel took such active part in the Bol- 
shevist madness? Will the Jews found a league to 
combat socialism ? Or will everything remain as be- 
fore after these dreadful nights full of anguish, and 
as before will they form a "League to Combat anti- 
Semitism," senselessly denying well-known facts, and 
thus still more inflaming anti- Jewish feelings? The 
Jews have two ways before them. One is to confess 
and repent. The other is to accuse every one else but 
themselves. Their fate will depend upon the way they 
follow. Is it really possible that the torture of fear 
will not show them the right way? 


This article places Jewry before the following 
dilemma: They must either repent, i.e., take upon 
themselves all the sins of the Soviet government before 
the volunteer army and their leaders, or they must per- 
ish. The Denikin government had really devoted the 
Jews to destruction. And in this they found moral 
support in the Cadet party (Constitutional Demo- 
crats). This party of the humblest opposition to His 


Majesty (the tsar) forms, in the excellent characteri- 
zation of Maxim Gorky, a sore, consuming the Rus- 
sian intelligentzia, for they adapt themselves to the 
absolutist regime of Rasputin and Shekheglovitov, 
who brought the country to the brink of ruin. The 
party which called itself in Siberia the "party of 
the coup d'etat" proved to be an ultra-reactionary 
party in the Ukraine. In the Ukraine the Cadets sup- 
ported from the very beginning the Ataman Skoro- 
padsky as soon as this stage-dictatorship came into be- 
ing with the help of Baron von Mumm and German 
bayonets. The main leader of the party, Pavel Niko- 
laievich Miliukov, approved of this act and at once 
went over from a pro-English to a pro-German policy. 
In the south of Russia the central committee of the 
party, as well as the party as a whole, were the only 
"moral" support of Denikin, whose predecessor Alex- 
eiev had also been supported by them. The Cadet party 
demanded a "military dictatorship." Miliukov de- 
clared that the Russian democracy was not able to 
organize the state and a military dictatorship alone 
was able to do this. The party yielded to the will of 
its leader, and demanded that all power be taken over 
by the volunteer army and that all democratic organi- 
zations, the provincial and city administrations, etc., 
should renounce all independent policies and all inde- 
pendent activity as organs of force, for "the time 
demands a military dictatorship." This party, which 
was so proud of its liberalism and had Jews also among 
its leaders, took the standpoint of Shulgin in respect to 
the pogroms. Their attitude to the Jews is the same 
as that of the author of the terribly candid article ex- 
cept that they are not so frank and cover their thoughts 
with a pharisaic cloak. At the party conference of 


the ipth of November in Kharkov, where all the 
organizations of South Russia and the Ukraine were 
assembled, the following resolution was adopted on 
the Jewish question (taken from the Warsaw Jewish 
paper, "Moment," of the I4th of December, 1919) : 
"The Kharkov conference of the party for popular 
freedom (Cadets) expresses the conviction that Jew- 
ish pogroms are undesirable not merely from humani- 
tarian considerations, but also from the point of view 
of the great purpose which the volunteer army is fight- 
ing to realize. At the same time the conference repudi- 
ates every suspicion that the deeds of violence are not 
counteracted by the competent authorities. The con- 
ference considers it its paramount duty to approve a 
whole line of means and measures undertaken by the 
government for the prevention of pogroms and the 
protection of the innocent population. The Jewish 
pogroms," the resolution continues, "are a consequence 
of the general demoralization due to Bolshevism as 
well as the result of direct incitement by Bolshevist 
agents in their attempt to create confusion behind the 
front. The reasonable and the leading circles in Jewry 
must carry on a bitter and unrelenting fight against all 
elements in Jewry who take active part in the Bolshe- 
vist movement and thus are guilty of a wicked and 
criminal deed. Russian Jewry must understand that 
if absolute and unconditional support is not given to the 
national dictatorship and the volunteer army, who are 
restoring Russian political life, there is no source of 
safety left. Nothing but a strong order based on law, 
such as the national government administration is en- 
deavoring to establish, can guarantee the security of all 
citizens of Russia without distinction of nationality or 


If we add to this that in the Cadet organ "Svobo- 
dnaya Rossia" (Free Russia) anti-Semitic articles of 
the not unknown Mr. Nashivin were published, in 
which the proposal is made to declare all Jews 
foreigners, the picture becomes clear. The first para- 
graph of the resolution does not change the matter in 
any way. To be sure, the party (just like Shulgin) is 
opposed to pogroms if the Jews will unconditionally 
support the volunteer army and the national dictator- 
ship which aim to exterminate these very Jews. 

The civil war pulled down the last remains of the 
liberal veil which covered the lean forms of the "Party 
for the Freedom of the People." The People's Social- 
ist, N. Tchaikovsky, member of the Russian delegation 
in Paris (of the foreign representatives of General 
Denikin and Admiral Kolchak), said in an interview 
with the correspondent of the "Moment," the Jewish 
paper of Warsaw (No. 15, Jan. 18, 1920), that the 
Cossacks "merely" committed robbery, and had no 
part in murders; that the horrors committed by, 
Makhno and Grigoriev as well as by the insurrection- 
ary freebooters were unjustly charged against the vol- 
unteer army and General Denikin, while it was the 
former whose aim it was to exterminate all Jews. 
Tchaikovsky declares categorically that Denikin and 
Kolchak were against pogroms and that they had even 
issued an order prohibiting all anti-Semitic agitation. 
The Bolsheviki, he says, utilize all excesses and give 
exaggerated accounts of the pogroms. (In this re- 
spect his statements completely agree in method with 
those made by the foreign representatives of the Pet- 
lura government, who denied that the pogroms were 
made by them and pointed to the deeds of horror com- 
mitted by the volunteer army, remarking at the same 


time that the Bolshevik! grossly exaggerated the pog- 
rom excesses.) 

Under the influence of "foreign opinion" Admiral 
Kolchak gave the following "liberal" interview to an 
American journalist: "You may be assured that in 
Siberia there is no anti-Semitism and no so-called 
Jewish question. Those Jews who have lived long 
in Siberia are regarded as having the same rights as 
other members of society. In so far as anti-Semitism 
is to be met with there, it comes from the outside, from 
Russian fugitives. In any case the influence of anti- 
Semitism is very insignificant in that part of the world. 
When we have conquered Bolshevism, the senseless 
charges that all Jews are Bolsheviki will disappear. 
The average Jew is more loyal and more conservative 
than the Russian middle class. And if the Jewish peo- 
ple are to be made responsible for the deeds of Trot- 
sky, Sverdlov, Joffe, etc., then the whole Russian 
people must answer for the activity of Lenin, Kry- 
lenko and Lunacharsky." ("Dalnevostotchnoye 
Obozrenye" "View of the Far East," of Sept. 21, 
1919; taken from "Le Temps" of Dec. 14, 1919). 

Kolchak could easily express himself on the "Jewish 
Question" for there are no Jewish masses in Siberia 
and there could be no pogroms there. Deeds of violence 
were committed there also, and some of them were 
perpetrated against the pure Russian peasants. The 
matter of pogroms was not so simple as the explana- 
tion of General Denikin and other responsible leaders 
of the volunteer army would make us believe. News 
about pogroms reached the foreign press which could 
not be passed over in silence. The chief of the Kiev 
precinct, General Dragomirov, had a conversation with 
representatives of the military and administrative 


authorities in which, among other things, he said: 
"Excesses have taken place in a whole series of locali- 
ties in which the Jews had to suffer. The chief com- 
mander has taken decisive measures to prevent a repeti- 
tion. All those whose guilt has been discovered were 
handed over for court martial, and the same will be 
done in the future. But repressive measures alone 
are not enough. Preventive measures are no less 
important. The ignorant masses must be made to 
understand that the Jewish nation cannot be held 
responsible for crimes of the Jewish Bolsheviki, that 
innocent persons must not be punished for the sins of 
other guilty persons. Care must be taken that the 
Jews should separate themselves from the Bolsheviki 
and their sympathizers and that the ideas propagated 
by the volunteer army should be circulated among 

This conversation was published in "Svobodnaya 
Rech" (Free Speech), a paper appearing in Rostov, 
and had apparently taken place a short time before. 
Directly after the conversation, when the Bolsheviki 
had held Kiev in their hands for two days, this was 
laid to the charge of the entire Jewish population, 
which had to expiate this offence under an organized 
slaughter of the "men with the bayonets." And this 
massacre was not prevented by the telegram sent by 
Denikin in Odessa to the chief commander of the Kiev 
military district. The telegram read as follows: "I 
have received new reports of violence perpetrated by 
the troops against the Jews. I order that proper meas- 
ures be taken to suppress the excesses. Most severe 
penalties must be imposed upon the guilty. Signed: 
Denikin." ("Svobodnaya Rech," Rostov, October 16, 
1919). This telegram did not, however, prevent the 


educational experiment, which was intended to teach 
the unhappy Jewish population that they must not des- 
troy "a state that they did not create" and must not 
"realize the principle of the rule of the people." The 
pogrom lasted till the 2Oth. Systematically, methodi- 
cally, step by step, house by house, street by street, the 
Jewish population was killed, violated and extermi- 
nated. Of counter measures there was not a trace. 
Reports by opposition papers of the participation of the 
troops in the pogroms were not allowed by the censor. 
The instigators of the "Kievlianin" and the "Vecher- 
niye Ogni," who incited the troops to violence not 
merely against the Jewish population in general, but 
also against the inhabitants of definite streets and 
houses and against definite persons, were not taken to 
account in any manner, although their acts were in vio- 
lation of definite articles of the criminal law. Savenko 
continued his dirty work and remained in his position 
as "Chief of Propaganda." 

The telegram of Denikin is a typical example of 
political hypocrisy, a document to mislead foreign 

To summarize, the pogroms instituted by the volun- 
teer army of Denikin took people's breath away by their 
inevitable necessity, the exactness with which they were 
carried out and, as is correctly said in the "memorial," 
by their systematic execution. In this way they are 
differentiated from the pogroms which were charged 
to the Directory of Petlura. 

The pogroms instituted directly or indirectly by the 
Directory and their responsible agents did not arise 
on the ground of hatred for the Jewish masses as such, 
and are not connected by the representatives of the 
national Ukrainian movement with the prejudice that 


grew on the ground of feudalism. The unconscious 
antipathy against the Jews as such and the instinctive 
anti-Semitism were, on occasion of need and in con- 
sequence of political and in part military circumstances, 
transformed into an "actual method." The occupation 
of the Ukraine by the Bolsheviki made of this means 
an almost uninterruptedly working system. The ex- 
pulsion of the Bolsheviki from the Ukraine caused the 
Directory to give up this two-edged weapon and to 
look for support in the Jewish socialistic party of the 
right. At the end of August the Rada of the people's 
ministers as well as the chief Ataman expressed them- 
selves decidedly against pogroms and even took prac- 
tical measures to combat them, all of which naturally 
did not exclude the possibility of a renewed use of 
this terrible fighting instrument in case of political 
necessity. The victorious national-Ukrainian move- 
ment did not take refuge in pogroms. 

Quite different must be the political estimate of 
the pogroms of the volunteer army. They were not 
merely a political means but also an act of retribution, 
"for the dishonored and violated Russia." Not only 
the political leaders, but almost all ordinary officers 
of the volunteer army were filled with hate and thirst 
for revenge. The old spirit of caste in the officer corps 
of the tsarist period was strengthened by the feeling of 
revenge called forth by the destruction of thousands 
of persons close and related to them in consequence of 
the Red Terror, which they ascribed to the "Jewish 
Extraordinary Commission." The same thing applies 
to the agitation of the Black Hundred in the official 
"Osvaga" as well as to journalists like Shulgin and 

With the increasing power of the volunteer army 


the pogroms gained in extent. Reaction increased as 
the power of the government grew firmer. The vic- 
torious regime of Denikin advanced over the dead 
bodies of the Jews. 

The most terrible thing about the Denikin pogroms 
was the apparent durability of the government. The 
institution of the Batko was felt to be the work of 
robber bands, the attitude of the Directory was re- 
garded as that of a weak and temporary government 
whose residence was in some out-of-the-way city like 
Vinnitza or Kamenetz-Podolsk. But a great part of 
Ukrainian Jewry believed in the permanence of the 
restoration government, which was based upon inter- 
national recognition and actual military support by the 
Entente. This created a completely hopeless and des- 
perate situation. And the more so because the upper 
as well as the middle classes of Jewry had cherishedj 
certain illusions with regard to this government as the 
means of restoring legal order, which would put an 
end to civil war and make it possible for tortured 
Ukrainian Jewry to lead a tolerable life. 



The Attitude of the Several Groups of 
the Christian Population to the Pogroms. 

THE watchword "Self-defense" played a great role 
in its day; in the tsarist period it was regarded as 

The pogroms of the eighties took place without 
meeting resistance by the Jews, who as in the middle 
ages looked upon it as an unavoidable punishment of 
Heaven. Young and old hid in cellars and lofts and 
did not venture in the daylight until the danger was 
over. So also in the Kishinev pogrom in 1903, which 
was enacted by the dictator Plehve as a method for 
intimidating the Jewish socialist youth. It was after 
this pogrom that the Bund for the first time gave 
out the watchword "Self-defense." Under the condi- 
tions of the time it proved to be pretty effective and 
even led to definite positive results. 

Up to the year 1905 the pogroms were organized 
according to a definite plan. At the instance of the 
police department, the governors with the help of the 
heads of the police staged the "popular indignation and 
revolt against the Jews" by means of a crowd con- 
sisting of disguised policemen, domestic servants, 
police spies and well-paid city hoodlums. By reason 



of the comparative weakness of the opposition and 
revolutionary movement at that time, the tsarist gov- 
ernment took pains to preserve a measure of decorum 
before western Europe, and the police as well as the 
military remained neutral. It was therefore not diffi- 
cult to offer resistance to the cowardly and more or 
less drunken crowd, who thought themselves quite 
secure. At the first shots the crowd dispersed. On the 
purely technical side the pogroms were so organized 
that the actors were divided into small groups, every 
group taking a different street. By organized recon- 
naissance the defenders could block their way. A few 
shots in the air sometimes and the pogromists would 
scatter. So it was during the pogrom in Gomel, where 
the Self-defense organized by the Bund played a very 
important role. 

Quite different is the character of the pogroms in 
the years 1905 and 1906, in which the participation of 
the authorities is clearly evident. In South Russia as 
well as in other places the pogromists were surrounded 
by armed policemen and sometimes soldiers, who de- 
fended them against all attacks of the "Self-defense 
divisions." The latter were prevented from getting to 
the places where the pogroms were going on, or they 
were shot at when they came near. The former type 
of self-defense (primitive groups armed with revol- 
vers, knives, etc.) were no longer adequate to offer 
resistance. It was now necessary to organize properly 
armed divisions. So it was in Riga in the year 1905. 
The pogrom, in which the police and the army partici- 
pated, was stifled in its very beginning by armed Let- 
tish divisions, who were essentially disciplined, revolu- 
tionary war divisions. Where such divisions did not 
exist, the pogroms, which had the character of military 


punitive expeditions (Siedlce, Bielostok), passed off 
safely for the actors. To be able to offer resistance it 
was no longer sufficient to have Self-defense in the 
technical sense of the word, but it was necessary to 
have an organization of military divisions, a thing 
which was impossible except in localities where certain 
conditions obtained, in which such things as open 
armed insurrection occurred (in the Baltic provinces). 

A summons to Self-defense necessarily meant under 
such conditions a call to an armed uprising. 

From the foregoing chapters can be seen the char- 
acter of the pogroms in the Ukraine in the year 1919. 
Since their purpose was the destruction of the Jewish 
nation according to a concretely worked out plan and 
by means of armed regular troops or insurrectionist 
bands which were likewise armed to the teeth, it was 
necessary in order to fight against them to create an 
army similar to that of the aggressors. From the sad 
chronicle of events during the pogroms in the Ukraine 
it can be seen that in the great majority of cases it 
was only after a temporary defeat of the aggressors 
that the pogrom in each case came to an end. Some- 
times, as we shall see later, the cessation was due to 
the assistance of the Christian elements of the popula- 

At the beginning of the pogrom wave the Jews had 
recourse to the old method of protection, namely brib- 
ing the commanders of the various divisions. By 
paying a considerable sum to the authorities it was 
sometimes possible to buy one's safety (as was the case 
in Kremenchug). Often, however, this was not suc- 
cessful. The money was taken and the massacres 
went on nevertheless. Nay it was worse in such cases, 
for the Jews believed they were safe and did not hide. 


So it was in Felshtin (Government of Podolia). 
When the Jewish community heard of the frightful 
massacres in Proskurov, they began to negotiate with 
the commander of the militia about taking measures 
for protection, gave him 15,000 rubles and promised 
a valuable set of furniture besides. He promised that 
he would invite the security police of the village Po- 
richie to support his soldier militia. And in fact the 
security police actually appeared the next day. But 
their activity consisted in not allowing any Jews to 
leave the place, so that the latter fell into a trap and 
were cut down in considerable numbers. 

In a number of cities Self-help was organized. The 
fate of this organization is very instructive. 

In Kremenchug the union of Jewish soldiers organ- 
ized a volunteer security police numbering about 1,000 
men. During the first pogrom in Yelisavetgrad a 
portion of these, about 200 men, proceeded thither and 
brought the pogrom to an end. This security police 
consisted mainly of Jews, but there were Christians in 
it also. It was under the command of Grag. 

During the second pogrom in Yelisavetgrad the 
security police no longer played any role. This time 
the resistance came from the Committee of Public 
Safety which controlled a sufficient number of defend- 
ers. They had 22 men killed (8 Jews and 14 Chris- 
tians) and about 30 men wounded. During the third, 
genuinely military and most frightful pogrom, which 
was carried out by the bands of Grigoriev, no security 
police could do anything. 

On the day after the pogrom the union of metal 
workers and the members of the peasant congress 
organized the class-conscious workmen into a division 
for the protection of the city. A number of automo- 


biles with armed workmen passed through the city. 
The soldiers and sailors thought that this division was 
organized by order of the staff. But when they found 
out the next day that no such order had been given, 
they began to kill the Jews. The Jews, who had come 
out of their hiding places, thinking that the pogroms 
were over, could not hide themselves so well on the 
third day, and the number of victims on this day was 
therefore particularly large. The infuriated bandits 
murdered whole families and spared neither old men 
nor infants. 

On representations being made by the unions of 
metal workers and the president of the peasant con- 
gress to the staff of the troops of Grigoriev, the pog- 
roms were checked. 

We see from this case that the volunteer organiza- 
tion of the security police was not able to offer resis- 
tance to the troops. The same thing is shown in the 
pogroms of Golovanevsk and Alexandria. 

Golovanevsk is situated in the government of Po- 
dolsk on the boundary of the circuit Uman, in the 
government of Kiev. This place had gained legendary 
fame among the Jews by reason of its well organized 
Self-defense, composed of several hundred young Jews 
who had guns, machine guns and even bombs. The 
surrounding peasants had respect for the Self-defense 
of Golovanevsk and did not dare to attack the place. 
The Self-defense succeeded even in driving away a 
band of 1,000 to 2,000 men. But even this "safe 
rampart," in which by reason of its safety more than 
2,000 fugitives had gathered from the neighboring 
pogrom-visited places, was powerless when the strong 
band of Sokolovsky appeared. The Self-defense could 
not offer adequate resistance, and in the course of a 


half hour about 200 Jews lay dead in the streets. The 
band killed all who came in their way. 

The same fate befell the "Workmen's Fighting De- 
fense" in Alexandria, at the time of the second attack 
of Grigoriev on the 27th of June. The Defense con- 
sisted of 600 men, of whom 300 were trained in arms, 
while the other 300 were just learning to shoot. They 
stationed watches every day. The suddenly appearing 
band of Grigoriev met a division of only 40 men. 
These resisted them in a four-hour fight and lost n 
men killed. The remaining members of the Defense 
did not appear at this moment when action was im- 
perative. But they would not really have made any 
change in the general picture of the pogroms. After 
the pogrom the members of the Defense fled, fearing 
the vengeance of Grigoriev' s bands. 

Very instructive in this regard is the history of the 
pogrom which was instituted by the troops of Petlura 
in the city of Rovno on the 2ist of May, 1919 (Com- 
munication of A. Cherkassky). Petlura's armored 
train "Streletz" came into the city. About 12 o'clock 
midnight pillage began in some streets, especially in 
the "Volya," the Jewish part of the town. The soldiers 
who came in the armored train went from house to 
house and took money, valuables, clothing and other 
things. . . . Everywhere one heard heartrending 
cries. .... A group of young Jews who were in a 
house waited for daylight, armed themselves and re- 
solved to offer resistance to the pillagers. Being ten in 
number they ventured to enter into an armed fight with 
the bandits in the "Volya," where the pillaging was 
going on. In one hour they had cleared a few streets 
(Dubenskaya, Alexandrovskaya, Novakovskaya and 
a part of the Minskaya) of the bandits. At the same 


time they caught two soldiers and shot them. The suc- 
cess of this group encouraged the male inhabitants of 
the adjacent part of the town, who gradually grew 
into a Self-defense. They divided themselves into 
groups of 6 to 8 men and covered the whole suburb 
Volya. The Self-defense so created in the Volya 
forced the bandits to go back to their train. In a half 
hour stronger divisions of plunderers were sent from 
there to the Volya, who took up the fight against the 
Self-defense. To help the bandits drive away the 
Self-defense, they shot into the Volya with cannon 
from the armored train. It is clear that the Self- 
defense could not withstand such force and had to 
withdraw, which they did in good order. . . . When 
the bandits had driven away the Self-defense, the pil- 
laging of dwellings and shops began again. A few 
persons who had nothing that could be plundered were 
put to death. 

We have treated the Self-defense in Rovno at such 
length because we find there both the stages of which 
we spoke above, namely the stage of resistance to 
groups of bandits who do not feel quite secure and are 
therefore cowardly, and the other stage of the military 
pogrom, which it requires an organized military power 
to oppose. It is true that the Self-defense succeeded 
in a number of small places, situated away from the 
pogrom wave, in driving away the small local bands 
(Bogopolie, Golta, Golovskov, Krivoie Ozero), but 
this does not change the general position of Jewry, 
given up to destruction. 

The need felt for protecting themselves was very 
great. The masses of Ukrainian Jewry were filled with 
the desire to defend their lives with arms, or at least 
to sell them dear, and to avoid disgraceful death in 


some cellar or loft. In Zlatopol for example (Govern- 
ment of Kiev), the survivors of the pogroms were 
gathered at the station, as they feared another pogrom. 
They were defenseless and could not even save them- 
selves by flight. They ran hither and thither but there 
was no help anywhere. Their leader, Mr. Rqmsen, 
sent telegrams in all directions, Kiev, Odessa, Yelisa- 
vetgrad. He asked for a division of defenders or at 
least for arms for self-defense, but there was no answer 
from anywhere. According to his communication, old 
men, women and children cried with one voice, "We 
want nothing. We are hungry and barefoot, but in- 
stead of bread give us protection, give us arms !" They 
asked for arms in the name of those 250 volunteers 
who entered the Red Army; they said, "Give their 
fathers and mothers the possibility of arming them- 
selves, so as to die honorably at least." This was 
their only wish. If they must die, let it be at least 
with arms in their hands and not in a cellar. Yet arms, 
too, would scarcely help the unfortunates. But they 
were not to be had ; there was not enough even for the 
army which protected the population against the at- 
tacks of the bands. 

Equally unsuccessful were the attempts to organize 
purely Jewish military divisions. In Skvira, after the 
first pogrom, when the same band appeared again, the 
"Ispolkom" (executive committee of the Soviet) 
quickly organized a Jewish military division of 900 
men. There were also a number of workmen among 
them and members of the Red Army. Thirty men 
fell in battle, and they had to withdraw together with 
the Soviet division. Thereupon the insurrectionists 
took possession of the town. 

This came out very 'clearly in the pogrom in Cher- 


kassy. This case being extraordinarily important, we 
shall deal a little more at length with the statements of 
a member of the left flank (the Jewish). On the 
1 5th of May at daybreak the Soviet troops left the city. 
In consequence of the unsafe situation at the front, the 
staff ordered the organization not only of the com- 
munists but also of the trade unions. The Christian 
workmen withdrew from the meeting. The labor divi- 
sion going to the front consisted mainly of Jews. The 
sending of such a division excited new talk among the 
population incited by the reactionary officers and 
pogromists. This division occupied the extreme left 
flank. Their equipment was for technical reasons in- 
sufficient. The arms brought to the city could not, by 
reason of certain conditions, be kept at the front. Dur- 
ing the clash the soldiers of Grigoriev purposely al- 
lowed themselves to be captured and then developed an 
anti-Semitic agitation. They had a very definite theme : 
"Brothers are fighting against one another. There is 
no difference in our aims. It is the 'Jews a nd the Com- 
munists' who circulate reports that Makhno is coming 
with a great army. . . ." "This agitation," the wit- 
ness says, "was successful even among the members of 
the Red Army, despite the protests of the intelligent 
persons and of the whole party and labor division." 

The two partisan armies, the army of the Soviet and 
of Grigoriev, find a common speech and common feel- 
ings and sentiments (anti-Semitic). Between these 
two the purely Jewish division forms a wedge, as it 
were, which by its protest apparently represents the 
third party, which prevents the "brothers" from unit- 
ing. The union came to pass. During its retirement to 
the bridge, the Jewish division was pressed back to the 
premises of a sugar factory inhabited by a poor class 


of laborers engaged in the factory. They already knew 
that the Soviet troops had suffered a defeat, for Grigo- 
riev's troops were already in the city (in consequence 
of poor information service, the Jewish division knew 
nothing of it as yet and withdrew too late). The 
majority of the local workmen armed themselves and 
opposed the retiring division. They shot at the men 
who were retiring to the bridge over the Dnieper. 
"Great numbers of men attacked them as they retired 
from their positions and killed them on the spot with 
stones, pulling them down from their horses. Young 
people and women, also, took part. They fired on them 
from the gates and from behind house corners as they 
withdrew to the Dnieper. They killed every one who 
looked like a Jew even if he did not belong to the Red 
Army. The Jews who were captured in their positions 
were at once torn to pieces. One division under the 
leadership of an officer met a body of prisoners. He 
had the Jews separated from the Christians and shot 
the former on the spot. . . . Their bodies were 
mutilated as were those of the men killed at the sugar 

The statements of this participant are fully confirmed 
by the account of the former president of the city 
Duma, V. Petrov. The latter said, "I know that the 
executive committee of the Soviet proposed to the 
trade unions to organize city guards, that a commit- 
tee was appointed, but received no arms or cartridges 
from the executive committee, since there were not 
enough even for the troops. Some of the members of 
the unions, mainly mechanics (needle makers, shoe- 
makers and others), went with the troops to the front, 
where they fought on the left flank near the sugar 
factory. When they retired on this flank the workmen 


were killed almost to a man by the local population." 
From the tragedy of Cherkassy we may draw the 
conclusion that the idea of a Jewish legion advocated 
by some nationalistic groups of Ukrainian and other 
Jews is a political idea thoughtless and naive; practi-/ 
cally, however, and in its realization it represents an 
enormous provocation which might lead to the complete 
annihilation of the whole of Jewry, for the Ukrainian 
peasants saw in this legion a union of Jews to destroy 
Christianity. The anti-Semitic front would have been 
very much strengthened by such a legion. 

The reader must not suppose that the whole Ukraine 
was divided into two camps, a Jewish and a Christian, 
and that Ukrainian Jewry was opposed by a closed 
anti-Semitic front. If this had been the situation 
there would be no trace of Jews left in the Ukraine. 
In reality the feeling of the peasants toward the Jews 
was subject to variation. The transition from an 
anti-Semitic attitude to active participation in anti- 
Semitic pogroms was for a considerable portion of the 
peasantry neither simple nor easy. Many years of 
living together in peace had struck deep roots, which 
could not so easily be pulled out even by the hurricane 
of civil war. The vacillating attitude of the peasantry 
is also shown in the fact above mentioned that 
Makhno's division once themselves made pogroms and 
then approved of the murder of Grigoriev by their 
Batko because "Grigoriev was a counter-revolutionist 
and organized Jewish pogroms." They discuss the 
question, and sometimes at length, whether they should 
begin a pogrom or whether they should continue a 
pogrom that had already begun. . . . When the 
bands of Makhno took Yekaterinoslav the first time 
(in November, 1918), they called a meeting at the 


staff headquarters, of the responsible leaders of the 
several partisan divisions, where the question was dis- 
cussed almost a whole day, whether they should make 
a Jewish pogrom or not. There was much weighing 
of arguments pro and con. 

It is clear therefore that every circumstance which 
makes Jews appear in the specific role of an active, 
closed and organized body aggravates their position and 
makes the masses of the Jews who are not scattered 
among the Ukrainian peasantry, even more defenseless 
than before. The peasants often distinguish between 
"their" Jews, whom they have known a long time as 
honest people, artisans and traders, and the "strange" 
Jews who, in the inciting words of the provocators, 
introduce the terrible commune. 

This can be clearly seen in the country town of 
Ushomir, in the district of Korosten. The peasants of 
the surrounding villages came there all armed. There 
was such a crowd of peasants that they filled town and 
village. They came from all sides. . . . The peasants 
went from street to street. The Jews in their anxiety 
concealed themselves, but the peasants quieted them, 
saying that they had nothing against them, that they 
had in mind the town of Iskorost where the "com- 
mune" had made its nest, and that they had made up 
their minds to get even with those (the Jews of Isko- 
rost). But they called upon the Jews of Ushomir to 
join them, registered them and gave them certain 
"certificates" with seals at ten rubles apiece. They 
had in this way, so to speak, attached the Jews of 
Ushomir to their movement. The old peasants said to 
the Jews that they were forced to do this. The peas- 
ants not merely did not lay their hands on any one, 
they took nothing away from the Jews and paid for 


everything they took. The peasants also actively de- 
fended "their" Jews against the bandits. 

There appeared in the town the vanguard of Soko- 
lovsky's band, five armed riders, who went to the 
market place and began to beat the Jews whom they 
met. These riders attracted attention at once by their 
brutal appearance. . . . Hearing of the disorder on 
the market place, the local peasants appeared, pro- 
tected the Jews and asked the Sokolovsky band why 
they had come. The riders replied that they wanted 
to get even with the Jews. The peasants then said 
to the riders that they should not dare lay their 
hands on a single Jew, for the Jews of Ushomir stood 
together with the peasants and that if a single Jew 
was harmed the riders would be called to account. The 
latter withdrew with the excuse that they "did not 
come to kill the Jews, but to take out the bombs which 
Petlura's men had thrown into the river." Soon the 
riders disappeared. This case is not the only one of its 

In other places the local population took part in the 
pogroms, especially in the cities, where the reactionary 
element of the poorer classes and the officials in the 
south always were distinguished by their anti-Semi- 
tism. In Cherkassy, Uman, Zlatopol and other places, 
the local population played the chief role, especially in 
Cherkassy, where, as we have seen, the Jewish fighters 
on the left flank were torn to pieces by the local popula- 
tion of the factory precincts. In Uman we have the 
same phenomenon. On the third day of the massacres 
a procession took place with church banners, at the 
head of which marched the orthodox clergy, and the 
devotees passed the fresh bodies of the Jews shot or 
stabbed to death. But even in Uman there was a part 


J .;! 
of the Christian population that was opposed to the 

pogroms. During the pogrom an assembly of the 
peasants was called by the insurrectionists. Here many 
Ukrainians spoke against the pogrom and in favor of 
the Jews. A Jewish delegation was received by the 
assembly who heard what they had to say. Under the 
impression of these speeches the assembly repudiated 
the pogrom and condemned the poorer classes, the 
clergy and the officials the elements which, as the 
speakers showed, were alone responsible for the pog- 
roms. The peasants as a class, the speakers thought, 
took no part in the pogroms and massacres, and only in 
isolated cases did they allow themselves to be misled 
by the provocatory agitation of the Black Hundred. 
Even if the speakers exaggerated the role of the in- 
surrectionists, it is clear in any case that the peasants 
as a class were opposed to the pogrom in Uman. 

In the country town of Dubovo (Government of 
Kiev) at a meeting held at the residence of the captain 
of the insurrectionists, many peasants said in the pres- 
ence of the Jewish delegation that they had nothing 
against the Jews. 

In Cherkassy, a group of local public men, mainly 
members of the city Duma, tried at the beginning of 
the pogrom (May 17) to send a delegation to the staff 
of the Grigoriev troops at the station with the pur- 
pose of asking the staff to withdraw the soldiers from 
the city and prevent murder and robbery, but they 
could not do it on account of the bombardments which 
had begun. On the 8th (i8th?) of May they came to 
the staff in a first-aid wagon but accomplished nothing 
(one of the officers of Grigoriev said to the delegation 
that the Christian population need not be disturbed, for 
only the Jews were robbed and murdered). On the 


same day a meeting of the inhabitants took place in 
the city Duma and a committee was appointed to see 
that the staff issued an order forbidding arbitrary 
searching of houses, plundering and shooting, and 
ordering a control of the soldiers loafing about in the 
city. The committee which was elected at the follow- 
ing general assemblies succeeded in two very serious 
cases, in which many Jews were threatened with death, 
in saving the situation and proving to the staff the 
innocence of the Jews. Besides the delegation of the 
population a delegation of railway officials also came 
to Grigoriev's staff, protesting against the murders and 
the shootings. 

In Kremenchug, during the pogrom of May 12-14, 
which was instituted by the bands of Grigoriev, a com- 
mittee of public safety was quickly called together. 
They organized a defense consisting of Russian work- 
men, who succeeded in checking the excesses. 

In Yelisavetgrad it was shown, as we have seen, that 
the Christian defending force organized by the peas- 
ant congress and the unions of metal workers was not 
able adequately to check the pogrom. Soldiers, sailors 
and the city mob intensified their pogrom activity when 
they saw that the defense was a volunteer force and 
was not established by order of the government. The 
union of metal workers and the peasant congress then 
urgently implored Pavlov, the commander of the front, 
to put an end to the horrors, and this time they suc- 
ceeded.* In the evening an announcement was posted, 
dated the 7th of May, which began with the following 
words: "I have heard the voice of the representatives 
of the workmen and the peasants, and have decided to 

* Twice they appealed to the government in vain. It would 
not listen to them. 


put an end at once to the destruction of the economic 
life." The frightful pogrom then ceased. During 
the pogroms a few representatives of the Christian 
intellectuals attempted to give protection. 

In Novo-Mirgorod the local clergy had a procession 
which marched to the pogromists while they were mak- 
ing their gruesome preparations for the pogrom (they 
were digging graves for the future victims, who hid 
themselves and awaited in despair their inevitable 
death) and tried to intercede with them, but in vain. 
The bandits would not listen to their admonition. To 
diminish the number of Jewish victims the executive 
committee of the "Volost" had a great number of the 
Jews arrested together with their families (about 1,300 
persons) and kept them in custody 89 days. This 
saved them from death. In Matusovo (Government of 
Kiev) the pogrom due to the reactionary agitation of 
the local intellectuals began with the watchword, "How 
long will you Jews continue to rule us?" In the com- 
munal assembly the question of continuing the pogrom 
was discussed. Two teachers spoke energetically in 
favor of protecting the Jews, pointing out that the 
power of the Jews had already been removed for the 
time being and that the survivors were poor unfortu- 
nate creatures. At first they were not allowed to speak. 
Even their colleagues turned against them and threat- 
ened to get even with them. But tne peasants who had 
become sobered heard them and the pogroms were 
stopped. The active interference for defense by the 
Christian population caused the cessation of the po- 
groms even in those cases in which the massacres were 
organized by disciplined military forces who could be 
depended upon by the military authorities. This was 
the situation in Proskurov. The request of a group of 


city deputies that the commandant put a stop to the po- 
grom had no effect. A session was called of the city 
Duma (a Jewish deputy was the only one who suc- 
ceeded in having this done). The chief culprits, 
Semosenko and Kiverchuk, participated in the meeting. 
Semosenko maintained that the Jews alone were re- 
sponsible for what was going on; that being mostly 
Bolsheviki, their purpose was to kill off the Gaidamaks 
and the other Cossacks. He said that he would con- 
tinue to act in the future as he had done in the past, 
as he considered it his sacred duty. Kiverchuk spoke 
to the same effect. The city deputy Verkhola replied 
to them. He addressed the Duma in a long speech in 
which he brought out that the things that happened in 
Proskurov were a disgrace to the Ukraine. He spoke 
of the meritorious deeds of the Cossacks in the past and 
pointed out that in the present case Semosenko had put 
robbers in Cossack clothes and made himself their cap- 
tain. Turning to Semosenko, he said, "You are fight- 
ing against the Bolshevists, but were the old men and 
children whom your Gaidamaks massacred, Bolshe- 
vists? You insist that only Jews are Bolshevists. 
Do you not know that there are Bolshevists among 
the other peoples too, even among the Ukrainians?" 
After the session of the city Duma there were no repe- 
titions of massacres on a large scale. Semosenko gave 
an order to that effect, although according to the origi- 
nal plan the massacres were to last three more days. 
Thanks to the efforts of Verkhola, who actually saved 
the Jews of Proskurov from complete destruction, 
Semosenko was recalled from Proskurov.* 

* Concerning the personality of Verkhola, who played so im- 
portant a role in defending the Jews of Proskurov, see Appendix, 
p. 214. 


The Jews therefore were not alone in their fight for 
life in the midst of a raging sea. Many of the Chris- 
tian population were on their side. Not only in the 
first period of the pogroms, during the military pog- 
roms of Petlura and the so-called "Batkovschina," but 
also in the pogroms of Denikin, the best Christian ele- 
ments among the intellectuals as well as among the 
workmen took the part of the Jews, often risking their 
own lives in doing so. Hence that fearful hate in the 
above mentioned articles of Shulgin against the 
League to Combat Anti-Semitism, which was active 
in the Ukraine and gathered to itself the best Russian- 
Ukrainian intellectuals. There we saw clergy, pro- 
fessors, teachers and representatives of the liberal pro- 
fessions and of the working people. 

The assistance of the Christian population often led, 
as we have seen, to a pogrom being checked ; in many 
cases, too, it had no effect at all; still it had an enor- 
mous moral 'significance for the Jews, who felt that 
they were not altogether alone and abandoned in their 
mortal terror before the approaching pogrom wave. 


THE insane tragedy which we are considering from 
the historical and political standpoint in order to lay 
bare its roots and place the guilt, is so horrible that 
human speech is too poor in words to describe the 
infinite despair and hopelessness and the various phases 
of human misery which the Jews in the Ukraine have 
suffered. One single episode, the massacre in Novo- 
Mirgorod, is a symbol of the entire tragedy, a living ex- 
pression of the frightful events. 

The bandits entered the town, armed and equipped 
for robbery, murder and rape. The Jews of the place 
in mortal anxiety had concealed themselves with their 
wives and children in the lofts and the cellars of the 
houses, in dumb despair and helplessness, and very 
likely also doubting the goodness of the All-high who 
allows such frightfulness to happen. The bandits made 
their preparations. A grave was dug in the Jewish 
cemetery. Lime was secured for those who, dreaming 
of life and love, expected a miracle. But no miracle 
happened. The murderers went from house to house, 
raping, beating and killing. They were followed by 
vehicles, on which were placed those who had not yet 
succumbed to their wounds. When loaded full, the 
vehicles were taken to the cemetery, where the living 
and the dead were thrown in without delay. The 



graves were covered with lime so that when they were 
opened many bodies were no longer recognizable. 

The episode in Novo-Mirgorod contains the trag- 
edy of all Ukrainian Jewry, who live scattered thinly 
in many towns and villages of beautiful Ukraine. 
Novo-Mirgorod is a symbol. Everywhere the Jews 
felt the sword of Damocles of armed bands/freebooters, 
regular troops, Batki, and so on, and they saw the 
inevitableness of their fate and the certainty of their 
destruction. In despair the Jews looked for a way 
out. But there was none. Wherever they went 
they were overtaken by their fate and met a horrible 
death. In Cherkassy the city was fired on from with- 
out, while inside a band of murderers and plunderers 
went from house to house and killed all Jews. "The 
city was under fire continually. The shells exploded 
over the houses and only during the night the cannon- 
ading stopped for a few hours. The Jews, seeking 
safety from the shells and the bandits, fled from loft 
to cellar and from cellar to loft. Even now when I 
close my eyes I see these people, men, women, children, 
insane with terror, like a frightened herd of sheep, 
running now here, now there, not knowing where they 
should go or where it would be better for them. Just 
now they have gone up to the loft and think they are 
safe there. The cannonading begins. It is so horrible 
there: they can hear the whizzing of the shells dis- 
tinctly. So they flee to the sticky, dark and damp cel- 
lars. There it is really gruesome. The crying and 
weeping of the children confuses their understanding. 
The shooting stops. All stream out of the cellars into 
the yard and from there again to the loft. And so it 
goes during the five long, long days and nights. . . . 
and then . . . then you see dead bodies lying every- 


^ where in the streets, horribly disfigured bodies, lakes 
of blood. . . . And then you see again the mass 

graves opened, and the people trying to identify their 
friends and relatives by their buttons, by their mono- 
grams, for the bodies are unrecognizable. .. . . . You 

see the burial of the dead. . . . You hear sobbing, 

the long uninterrupted sobbing of an entire city." * 

In Rotmistrovka the entire Jewish population was 
driven into the synagogue, where 1,200 persons, men, 
women and children, huddled together in a heap, spent, 
without food and drink, endless hours of anxiety in 
fear of their lives. The bandits had a bomb ready to 
blow up the house of prayer. Only by a miracle did 
they at the last moment succeed in averting the disaster 
and buying their freedom.! 

The pogrom held full sway in Uman. (Whole 
families were put to death, horribly tortured and 
slaughtered. Women were violated. All this was 
going on often in one half of the house, while in the 
other half inhabited by Christians, the inmates re- 
mained quiet and undisturbed, having pasted crosses 
on the walls and placed crucifixes in the windows. 

The pogrom finally came to an end, and by order of 
the Ataman Klimenko, the leader of the insurrection- 
ists, the freebooters drove the Jews together and told 
them to gather the bodies of the murdered in the houses 
and streets and load them on the wagons. They were 
taken to the Jewish cemetery and buried in three 
gigantic graves. The Jews were not allowed to dig 
individual graves, all had to be quickly thrown into 
the mass graves. While the Jews, thus collected, 

*See Appendix, pp. 248 ff. 

f See testimony of the authorized investigator, I. G. Tzifrino- 
vich, in Appendix, pp. 300 ff. 


fathers, mothers, wives, brothers, sisters and children, 
were making the graves and weeping, they were in- 
sulted, scoffed at and mocked in every way by the in- 
surrectionists. Under threat of violence the women 
were forbidden to weep. A company of insurrection- 
ists passing the cemetery began to sing jovial songs 
as they saw the Jews burying their dead.* 

At every step one met the greatest moral corruption, 
the most refined torture, the evidence of sadistic incli- 
nations. The murderers were lost to all human feel- 
ing. Bloodthirsty animals were at work. This atmos- 
phere of corruption took hold of the young people and 
children also. The district agent of the relief com- 
mittee makes the following report : 

On the pth of June a peasant brought to the Jewish 
hospital the two last Jews of Ladyzhenka (before the 
pogrom there were 1,600 Jews in that town). They 
were two young girls, frightfully mutilated, one with 
her nose broken off, the other with broken hands. 
They are now in Kiev, suffering not only from exter- 
nal injuries but also from venereal diseases contracted 
from their violaters. 

In Rotmistrovka a father and a son were shot in a 
house. The father was hanged later, and all this took 
place before the eyes of the mother and wife. The 
mother begged to be killed also. But the bandits re- 
fused, and as she kept on screaming aloud they drove 
her out of the house. In the same place when the 
bandits had taken everything out of a certain house, 
they put the whole family of four persons against the 
wall (the father, 65 years old, the mother of the same 
age, the son, 30, and the daughter 28). They began 

* See Appendix, pp. 310 ff. 


with the daughter so as to take revenge on the par- 
ents. All were killed except the son, who as if by a 
miracle remained alive. 

In Slovechno the fiends stuck a four year old child 
on a bayonet and killed it. In Rotmistrovka a woman 
(the wife of the local Rabbi) fled with her children 
from the city. On the way she injured her foot. Her 
fourteen year old son, seeing his mother bleeding, asked 
some peasants to help her. One of them consented to 
take them to the neighboring village. He then took a 
pick and killed the mother. The two children of four- 
teen and five years respectively he wounded with the 
same pick. In the same town there was an old woman, 
a grandmother, her daughter and five grandchildren 
(the oldest child was seven years, the youngest six 
months old), who were looking for a place to hide. 
On the way they were all put to death. The children 
of three and one-and-a-half years had their heads split. 
The youngest of six months was left to itself and died 
of hunger the next day.* 

In Uman five Jews were killed in the fields. One of 
these, an old man with a white beard, was not killed 
at once, but met his death in a long agony and great 
torture. This attracted the attention of Christian 
children, who gathered around him and threw stones 
at him, thus hastening his death. Not far from there 
the bandits murdered a Jew, who fell down dead. He 
was then lifted up, tied to a tree and made a target at 
which the fiends kept shooting a long time. 

At the same time a mother, crazed with despair, 
killed her own child. In Rotmistrovka a mother fled 
with her children to the woods, thinking that there she 

* See Appendix. pi>, 300 ff. 


had found a hiding place. When she heard shooting 
she was seized by the fear that the cries of her eleven- 
months child might betray her and choked it with her 
own hands. 

There were at the same time also examples of most 
noble humanity, cases of self-sacrifice, of covering 
one's neigbhor with one's own breast. Cases are known 
in which persons were glad to accompany others out of 
this tearful valley of life and sorrow. It happened sev- 
eral times in Cherkassy that Christian servant girls put 
themselves in front of their masters to protect them. 
One of these was actually killed together with her mis- 

In Uman a woman tried to protect her husband and 
her father with her own body, and received a bullet in 
the breast. The woman was in an advanced stage of 
pregnancy and on the following day gave birth to a 
boy, so that there were three dead bodies lying on the 
floor of the house, among them that of the husband 
and the father. In the same place a young pregnant 
woman tried to protect her husband and was killed by 
a bullet. The heroic death of the beautiful young 
woman affected even the murderer. In many houses 
which he visited later he said regretfully, "Ah, we 
killed a Jewess in the Kahan house ; how she looked at 
me before she died I shall never, never forget the 
eyes of that Jewess." * 

In Trostianetz two young girls (the daughters of 
Beerman) hung on their father's neck and begged to 
be killed together with him. Father and daughters 
were tortured and killed in the most brutal manner. 
The same fate befell the two daughters of Mogilev, 

*See Appendix, pp. 314-315. 


who did not want to survive their father (testimony of 
Sandier).* All descriptions of cruelty in the world's) 
literature pale into insignificance before the horrors of 
the Jewish tragedy. This tragedy knows no shades, 
no high lights. All is equally horrible and frightful. 
, V . . Terrible is the birth of a son from a wounded 
mother in a room where the father and the grandfather 
lie lifeless on the floor. Terrible is the plight of the 
son, who, seeing the torture and death of all his rela- 
tives, loses his reason. Horrible is the case of the 
mother who chokes her own child in order to save the 
others. Out of the enormous material collected by in- 
vestigators of the Ukrainian tragedy, in which every 
line reports Jewish grief, where Jewish blood trickles 
from every paragraph, we will present only a few 
sketches and incidents, the testimony of eye witnesses 
who by a miracle escaped from hell where, however, 
they had to leave their friends and relatives. Who- 
ever has seen these tragic witnesses, who knew how 
to tell of the horrors they endured, with epic dignity, 
without coloring and exaggeration; whoever has seen 
their sunken, earth-colored faces, their eyes filled with 
insane sorrow and despair, having no desire for re- 
venge or life must, like Lazarus in the gospel, lose 
the power to laugh; he must wander with a poisoned 
soul through the world, without finding a resting 

Involuntarily one thinks of the words of the poet: 

"Ye Clouds, if behind you in the depths of the blue 
the ancient God still lives on his throne though invisi- 
ble to me I ask you, pray for me and my bloody fate ! 
I have no more prayer in my breast nor strength in 

* See Appendix, pp. 396 ff. 


my hands, nor hope How long, how long, how 


(H. BIALIK, on the massacres.) 

Following are a few episodes selected almost at ran- 
dom. For in this tragedy everything is typical. 
There are no exceptions. Every incident is an ex- 
ample of what hundreds of unfortunate towns and 
villages in the Ukraine had to undergo. They are all 
illustrations, essentially similar to each other and mo- 
notonous like the groaning and the weeping and the 
corpses and the graves. All is one great cry of the lie 
of life, and the shameless cruelty of man, who desires 
to gain power at such a price. 

a. Steamer "Baron Gunsburg." 

Testimony of Shifra Shklovskaya, 40 years old, 
Widow, Shopkeeper. Only Survivor. 

On the 7th of April I boarded the steamer "Baron 
Gunsburg" in Kiev. The steamer was going to the 
village Sukhovchi with a cargo of sugar. It was 
chartered by three Jews of Sukhovchi, who took pas- 
sengers on board on their own account. To be 
exact, I was sleepy when I boarded the steamer and 
did not observe the passengers on board or how many 
there were. I found a seat in a corner and sat there 
dozing. I was awakened by a noise. The Jews were 
terribly excited and frightened. "Nothing can be done, 
they are shooting," I heard, and at the same time came 
the crackling of arms and bullets penetrating the ship's 


side. I lost my head completely. The whole unhappy 
occurrence that took place after this has remained 
in my memory only partly. I saw, heard and did 
everything as in sleep. I still recall vaguely that the 
steamer reached the shore and five or six brutalized 
bandits, armed with weapons, rushed on board, 
stamped their feet and gave the order, "J ews here, 
Christians there !" The Russian passengers stepped 
aside. Then came a new order, "Women aside." The 
men were apparently taken on deck. If I am not mis- 
taken three women remained behind under the care of 
several bandits. Shortly after, the bandits who had 
gone on deck returned. We were then dragged on 
deck. We began to cry and lost our senses. The ban- 
dits first seized an old woman and threw her into the 
river just as she was. Then came I. I lost 
consciousness. I do not know how I succeeded 
in swimming down the river. I imagine I must have 
been carried down by the current. I felt swampy 
ground under my feet and clambered upon a small 
island covered with shrubs. How long I lay there I 
do not know. When I came to myself somewhat and 
looked around, I noticed that something extraordinary 
was going on on the opposite bank. There was shoot- 
ing, cries and alarms. I crept deeper into the sedge 
and lay there. My clothing stuck to my body, my 
limbs were numb and I felt an intolerable dryness in 
my mouth. So I spent two days and two nights. In 
the early dawn of the third day I saw a boat with two 
peasants in it. It was clear to me that lying there I 
should die anyway, so I resolved to ask the peasants 
to take me to the opposite bank. The peasants agreed 
and brought me as far as the village Meshigorye. I 
entered the hallway of a convent and hid myself under 


the steps. How long I remained there I do not know. 
When I opened my eyes, I saw a nun tending me. 
She was very kind, led me to her cell, gave me 
warm milk, took off my clothing to dry, placed 
me near the stove, stroked my hair and tried to 
comfort me in the kindest way. She kept me several 
hours. Then she told me to go, for the whole convent 
might suffer on my account. I went, but was afraid 
to look for the village. So I hid myself in the court- 
yard of the convent in the pig-trough, which was empty. 
I lay on the wet dirty ground, but here too my rest was 
not long. A peasant came with pigs. He did me no 
harm, but told me to go, for he was afraid. Such were 
the tortures I was exposed to for five or six days. I 
crept from one trough into another and from one hole 
into another. What I ate I do not know, and if I know 
I cannot say it. In this way I was saved. In the 
village the bandits raged the whole time uninterrupt- 
edly. They shot, screamed, played accordions and 
sang merry songs until far into the night. 

Signed for the witness, who cannot write, 

b. Steamer Kazak. 

Testimony of Bar Borukhov Mogulevich, 
39 Years Old, Butcher. 

On the 7th of April I travelled on the steamer 
"Kazak" from Kiev to Chernobyl. Twenty-five Jews 
whom I knew were on board and about twenty Rus- 
sians. There was a rumor that armed bandits were 
also on board. But we felt comparatively safe, as 
among the passengers there were fifteen members of 
the Red Army with machine guns and a whole chest 


full of firearms. As we drew near Meshigorye our 
steamer was fired on. THe military leader of Cher- 
nobyl, who was on the "Kazak," came out on deck 
and saw signaling from the shore with a flag. He 
thought it was a military signal for an inspection of 
the steamer, and ordered the captain to stop at the 
shore. When we reached shore about six or eight 
young men came on board armed with rifles and 
sticks, armed peasants wrapped in half-fur coats. 
Holding their weapons ready to shoot, they ordered, 
"The Russians step aside ; the Jews hands up !" The 
Russian passengers and soldiers separated from us, 
and we were instantly surrounded by the bandits. We 
were searched, our bodies were pinched and our 
clothes torn from our bodies. They took away all our 
valuables, such as money, watches, etc., and earrings 
from the women. A few more men came in village 
dress and armed like peasants, who divided us in pairs 
and drove us to the bank. There we found almost the 
entire Jewish population of the village Petrovichi, 
young and old, girls and women with children in their, 
arms. We were all huddled together. We learned 
from the Jews of Petrovichi that all of the Jews who 
were on the steamer "Baron Giinsburg" had been 
drowned. The Jews of Petrovichi had been seized in 
the night and had just been brought to the bank, also 
to be drowned. They said that the peasants had had 
a meeting in the evening to determine what they 
should do with the Jews. The old peasants, who had 
often been in the Jewish houses and had grown up 
with the Jews, said that the village should not take 
such a sin upon itself, recommending that the Jews 
should merely be expelled from the village, that their 
fate should overtake them at a distance, out of the 


peasants' sight. But the young peasants insisted that 
now was a favorable opportunity, that they must not 
hesitate nor allow the Jews to escape them; that the 
Jews in the whole of the Ukraine were now being 
drowned and killed, and Petrovichi must not stand 

We were kept some time on the bank and then we 
were driven into the village. We tried to find out from 
the bandits where they were taking us. The answers 
were blows, an order to keep quiet and with a gnash- 
ing of teeth they said, "for examination." We were 
brought to the inn of the convent. It was still early, 
between six and seven in the morning. We were all 
shut up in a room and the shutters were locked. Soon 
there came armed bandits and many older peasants of 
Petrovichi. We were searched again. Anything that 
pleased them they took away. A little later a new 
band came and did the same thing. After a time there 
came a third. This lasted two hours, until we were 
stripped of all our clothing except our underwear ; and 
those of us who were unfortunate enough to have good 
underwear remained entirely naked. Among the peas- 
ants who came in there were many good acquaintances 
of the Jews of Petrovichi. The latter turned to those 
of the peasants whom they knew and asked them to 
save them. Instead of answering they searched with 
greedy eyes to see if there was not something else that 
they could appropriate. Among our visitors there 
were also some who explained indignantly, "You Jew- 
ish communists, you changed our holy houses of God 
into stables. In Kiev you killed our brothers. We 
will torture you as you tortured them." There were also 
some who told with special gusto how the Jews were 
being massacred everywhere, how their eyes were 


being gouged out and the women's breasts cut off, etc. 
It was clear to us that we were lost. We lay on the 
floor motionless and without a sound. The women 
did not even shed tears. Only here and there one heard 
a child cry or ask for something to eat. During the 
day twelve more Jews were brought in, who were 
caught in a boat on the river, and also the Jewish com- 
munist agitator Shapoval, who boarded the steamer 
with us at Kiev in the company of the members of the 
Red Army. Shapoval was brought in by a powerful 
fellow of middle age, wearing a red military uniform. 
As I learned later, this was Klimenko, the chieftain of 
the band. Shapoval told us confidentially that it was 
possible to come to terms with this man and buy our 
freedom. We fell at his feet, embraced and kissed 
him, begged for our lives and promised "mountains of 
gold/' He said coolly, "Give me 30,000 rubles." The 
Jews of Petrovichi entreated, "Let two of us go to the 
village and we will bring you the money." "60,000 
rubles," was the answer. "We will give you 100,000. 
Keep our women and children as hostages, let us go to 
the village and we will bring you the money." Kli- 
menko went away with the statement that he would 
come back later. In the meantime peasants came in 
and out, and when they saw the naked persons before 
them from whom there was nothing further to take 
they insulted us in the coarsest fashion. Klimenko 
came back. We began to hope again. We kissed his 
boots and begged him, "Let two of us go to the village 
and bring you the money." Klimenko heard the sob- 
bing and crying, accepted our kisses graciously and 
demanded 900,000 rubles. We promised. But he 
thought differently, asked us for the addresses that he 
might get the money himself and departed. The day 


lasted an eternity. Then came night. Klimenko did 
not return. We were sure then that we were lost. We 
prayed to God, said our last prayer, the "viduy" (con- 
fession), took leave of one another and sought each 
one of us a corner to collect our last thoughts. I found 
a block-book and a lead pencil and we began to write 
our wills. The paper was not enough for all, and many 
scratched their names on the walls of the convent inn. 
Our wills we gave to a very old Jewish woman. We 
felt sure that they would have pity on her. About one 
o'clock after midnight six bandits appeared, seized 
seventeen persons and bade them go with them. Even 
now I find it hard to tell what happened. The seven- 
teen persons took leave of us and went. Through the 
cracks in the shutters we could see that they were going 
toward the river. About an hour passed. The ban- 
dits came back and took a second batch of fifteen per- 
sons. Again some time passed and the bandits came 
to take the rest. Everyone clung to his nearest and 
to his relatives. When we were taken out it was 
already very dark. I went along with two friends of 
mine. We resolved to die together. We were taken 
on the steamer again. We felt that the steamer 
was pushing off from shore. The bandits seized 
one of my friends and led him out. I wanted 
to follow him, but was pushed back. I listened for a 
few minutes. Everything was still. Suddenly I heard 
a noise as of a tree trunk falling into the water. Then 
my second friend was taken out. Two or three min- 
utes later I heard the same noise. Now came my turn. 
I had nothing on but torn drawers and a "talis koten" 
(a prayer mantle worn over the shirt). I was led by 
two soldiers. One of them pulled off my "talis koten." 
I kissed the soldiers and begged them to give it back to 


me. I thought it might be useful in having me buried 
in the Jewish cemetery. But it was of no avail. I was 
taken out on deck. The soldiers had already taken hold 
of me. But I closed my eyes, called out, "Shma 
Isroel" (Hear, O Israel!) and jumped into the water. 
A wave threw me under the steamer. The steamer 
went on and I swam with the current. I was still con- 
scious and made for the left bank of the river, where 
Chernigov is situated. I have no idea how long I 
struggled in the water and what forces carried me. 
It seems to me that I had seized a tree stump in the 
river and made for somewhere, I know not where. My 
strength gave away entirely, when I noticed that 
the bank was near. I crept to the bank, 
rolled myself in the sand to get rid of the 
water which I had swallowed and to warm myself 
a little. Naked as I was I walked on in the cold damp 
night. I saw a fire gleaming and proceeded in that 
direction. Two peasants with boat rudders in their 
hands ran up to me and told me to stop. I begged them 
not to hold me back and told them that I was a butcher 
in a neighboring village and that bandits had attacked 
me on the road and robbed me. The peasants called 
some one. A man appeared, who asked me in Jewish 
who I was. My joy knew no bounds. I told him my 
name. The man threw himself around my neck. He 
was a good friend of mine. He talked the matter over 
with the peasants, with whom he was carrying fish for 
sale. They gave me room in their boat and covered me 
with a half -fur coat. In the early morning we came 
to the little village of Strakholessye. We came to a 
peasant hut. The peasant showed himself very kind, 
looked at me and shook his head in sympathy. He 
gave me old torn clothes and allowed me to warm my- 


self near the stove. I thought that my life was no 
longer in danger, when two young peasants came in. 
"What, you have Jews here? There is an order to 
take them to the Staff. In these days all Jews should 
be killed and drowned." The owner of the hut asked 
them to let us alone, seeing that God himself had saved 
us, and it would be a sin to mix in his affairs. The 
young peasants were unconvinced and sat down. The 
peasant allowed us to escape through a window in the 
adjoining room and told us to run. We ran into the 
bushes, then into swampy land where human beings do 
not usually go. Wading in mud and water up to our 
waists, we looked for a place where there would not 
be a trace of a human being. Again and again we had 
to hide ourselves in the bushes when we saw armed 
men pass. There was a great deal in store for us yet. 
Finally we came to a factory, where Russian work- 
men gave us some clothing, warmed us up, gave us 
something to eat and provided us with a vehicle, which 
brought us to Kiev. There I became ill and was con- 
fined to bed for a considerable time. I remember that 
I found in the inn a note addressed to the alderman of 
the village of Petrovichi, in which it said, "Now all 
the Jews must be produced without delay." The note 
was signed by Lazarenko. 

June ist, 1919. Butcher in Chernobyl. 

Strakholessye is six versts from the village Pechki. 
There were nine Jewish families there. The village 
consisted of about three hundred houses. Most of the 
Jews are artisans. The relations between the Jews 
and the peasants were so good that Strakholessye was 
known for its friendliness to the Jews. Strak- 


holesseye did not give any volunteers to the gangs of 
Struk. Under the rule of Struk the peasants began 
to cavil at the Jews. Now the peasants have become 
sobered again. 


a. Testimony of Cantor Gersh Zaslavsky, 60 
Years Old 

On the 1 6th of May, 1919, about seven o'clock in 
the morning, I came to the synagogue to pray. When 
I had put on my "tfilin" (phylacteries), two armed 
soldiers rushed in and called out, "Jews, get to- 
gether !" They began to beat us and drive us out of the 
synagogue (there were in all eight old men there). 
When I asked one of the soldiers where they were 
taking us, he said, smiling ironically, "You communists 
will be taken to death." A few minutes later I found 
myself in the midst of 42 Jews, and we were told to 
proceed by twos. The insults and annoyances to which 
we were exposed are beyond description. One old man 
had his beard pulled out. In this way we were led 
/ along the main street to the Smela station. There a 
railroad car was standing ready, and we were or- 
dered to get in. We climbed in by standing on the 
shoulders of the others. The car was then locked 
up, and shifted awhile hither and thither. Then 
they began to shoot. After we had gone about 
three versts the car was finally opened. A man 
came iii and threw us out one by one, shooting 
after each as he was thrown out. Terrible 
cries of "Shma Isroel" (Hear, O Israel) could 
be heard far away. The blood of those shot flowed 
into a brook nearby. I was the eighteenth. As by a 
miracle I fell alive among the dead. Dead men fell on 


top of me and I swam in their blood. When the 
slaughter was over, a wild drunken voice called out, 
"Hurrah ! all Jewish communists are dead. Comrade 
sailor (leader of the Grigoriev bands), what shall we 
do now?" "Go home," was the answer. "It is not 
worth while to use up any more bullets on the Jews." 
Before leaving, one of them said that he had noticed 
that one of the communists had good shoes on (he 
meant me). He took off my shoes, and to make sure 
that I was dead he stabbed at me with his bayonet. 
After the Grigoriev men left, I raised myself with 
great difficulty and looked around. Then I saw the 
frightful scene. The Jews who had been shot lay on 
the ground and the blood flowed into the river. Com- 
pletely exhausted I began to walk at random. Wading 
in water up to my neck I crossed the river and went 
into the woods. I came near a tree. Not far from this 
tree stood a man with a machine gun, shooting in the 
direction of the tree. I threw myself on the ground 
and pressed against the tree. Thus I lay 48 hours. In 
the evening I drank water from the river. A peasant 
came along. I asked him for a piece of bread. He 
refused. Another peasant came along and gave me a 
piece. When at last I came out of the woods to go 
home, I saw many wagons carrying loads of wood. I 
asked the drivers to take me under their protection, 
but they all emphatically refused. They would not 
even let me hold on to a board, though I was nearly 
ready to drop of exhaustion. With difficulty I reached 

b. Testimony of Dina Lif shuts, 32 Years Old 

On the eleventh of May, about three o'clock in 
the night, there was a knock at our door. Three men 


in military uniform came in and asked for arms. They 
searched the house, but found no weapons. Then they 
chased us all into a room of the sub-tenant and kept 
asking for arms. Ekhiel Lifshiitz, my father-in-law, 
affirmed on his knees that there were no arms in the 
house. Schlema Lifshiitz, a son of the old man, showed 
them a document which proved that he had only re- 
cently returned from a German military prison. At 
first this seemed to do some good. A few minutes 
later, however, they were all told to place themselves 
against the wall. One of the bandits gave the order to 
shoot. Schlema Lifshiitz fell dead. Ekhiel Lifshiitz 
was severely wounded. They wanted to kill me too. 
But one of them had pity on a five-months old infant 
that I was carrying in my arms. I remained alone in the 
room, which was overflowing with the blood of the 
men killed. Another band came in, and when they 
saw the severely wounded Ekhiel Lifshiitz, they began 
to shoot at him and at the dead body of Schlema Lif- 
shiitz. I sat for a time as if petrified. When I came 
to myself somewhat I noticed that Schlema Lifshiitz 
was still alive. I asked for medical assistance, but it 
was refused. I was compelled to take him to the hospi- 
tal, where he died three hours after the operation. 



j . 
a. Testimony of the Wood Merchant, Getzel Rot- 

mistrovsky, 59 Years Old 

On Friday and Saturday, May 16 and 17, there were 
no excesses of any kind in Krasnaya street. We saw 
only the men who live on the river bank dragging 


stolen goods. People spoke of two or three murders, 
but they were regarded as accidental attacks. The 
inhabitants of the street became more and more anx- 
ious and began to look for hiding places. On Sunday 
May 1 8, at 6 o'clock in the evening, four military per- 
sons appeared in Rotmistrovsky's cellar, where a few 
neighbors had sought protection against the shooting, 
took money, rings, boots and shoes from the people 
and went away telling the people not to dare give the 
alarm. A half hour later they came back and ordered 
the men to follow them to the station. They quieted 
the weeping and praying women by saying that those 
who were not communists would suffer no harm at the 
station. The men, nine of them, left. On the corner 
they saw eleven more men under military escort. 
There were in all twenty men between the ages of 19 
and 60, the old men predominating. On the way to 
the station, they insulted, tortured and beat them with 
clubs ; they were forced to sing songs, and were stripped 
to their underwear. When they were brought to the 
station, a man, whom Rotmistrovsky did not know, 
jumped out and cried, "What sort of a communist is 
Rotmistrovsky, why did you bring him here?" He 
seized Rotmistrovsky by the hand and pulled him away 
with great difficulty from the soldier who was escort- 
ing him and would not let him go. Rotmistrovsky 
wanted to beg for his children, 19 and 33 years old 
respectively, but his rescuer explained that now was 
not the time to intercede for anyone else, that his life 
was in danger, and pushed him into a railway car. He 
locked the doors of the car and promised to get him 
home in some way. When he was alone and recalled 
the words of his saviour he understood what danger 
threatened the other nineteen men, his sons among 


them. He looked out of the upper windows and 
listened, but the noise of the drunken bands drowned 
everything else. After one or two hours Rotmistrovsky 
recognized by the light of a lantern Tkachtenko, a 
young peasant from the neighboring village, Russkaya 
Polyana, and asked him to let him out. The peasant 
also recognized Rotmistrovsky and threatened to shoot 
him on the spot. After a time Rotmistrovsky observed 
to his horror that his car was moving in the direction 
of Smela. On the siding in Belozeria the train stopped 
and wounded men were put in and taken off. In Belo- 
zeria Rotmistrovsky again saw a peasant (an old man 
dressed like a peasant, but armed) and asked him to 
help him out, but the peasant paid no attention to him. 
In the early morning they came to Smela. He looked 
for acquaintances among the curious persons who were 
at the station but found none. Suddenly a military 
person stopped before his car. He was evidently sur- 
prised to see Rotmistrovsky. He brought him a sheet, 
wrapped him up in it and promised under all circum- 
stances to get him home. He was a commissar and 
had formerly been a longshoreman and knew Rotmis- 
trovsky well. A little later a Russian shoemaker who 
lived in Smela came to the car and said to Rotmistrov- 
sky that he had recognized him long before and wanted 
to help him out, but that he was prevented and was 
told that there was no pity for Jews. At Bobrinsky 
station they gave Rotmistrovsky a pair of trousers, a 
coat and rubber shoes and a certificate entitling him 
to go to Cherkassy. But they advised him to remain 
a few days in Smela, as they could not guarantee his 
life in Cherkassy. He followed their advice. Of the 
other nineteen who had been brought along with 
him to the station, only one survived. Wounded, he 


secretly got away and reached home. All the others 
including the sons of Rotmistrovsky, the 33 year old 
Srul and the 19 year old Shier, were shot to death at 
the station. 


b. Testimony of a Man Who Escaped Death 

It was on Tuesday, May 2Oth, about 5 o'clock in the 
afternoon. A division of soldiers was marching 
through the street, also bandits in civilian clothes. 
They stopped everyone they met and asked him where 
the communists were hiding. I lay in the cellar. A 
girl ran up to me and just had time to say, "The sol- 
dies are coming." Soon after two soldiers came up and 
began to persuade me to leave the cellar, for, they said, 
the pogrom was over and the men were ordered by the 
commandant to go to the station and be registered. As 
soon as their names were entered they would be freed. 
I came out. At the gateway sixteen Jews of various 
ages were standing, among them a venerable old man 
of sixty. We were taken to the station. We all had 
our documents ready, but there was no examination at 
the station. The soldiers chased us away from the 
tracks, stripped us of our clothing, leaving us in our 
underwear, and began to fire on us. The first who fell 
was Kanevsky, then the older Rotmistrovsky. What 
happened later I do not remember any more. About 
ten o'clock in the evening I regained consciousness. I 
had such pains in my bones and in the stomach that I 
lost consciousness again, but came to in a few min- 
utes. Dead bodies lay near me. I rose, my under- 
wear was all soiled with blood, and near me I heard 
the groans of a dying man. I summoned all my 
strength to get to the dying person. All around there 


was no one, it was quiet and the groaning was dis- 
tinctly audible, but I could not find the man. Again 
I lost consciousness. How long I lay there unconscious 
I do not know. But when I woke up I realized I 
was lying next to Kanevsky and it was he who 
was groaning. "Kanevsky," I said, "maybe you 
can get up and we will try to go home." "No," 
he replied, "I am dying. I beg you, find my son and 
put him next to me. I should like to embrace him be- 
fore I die." I found his son. He was dead. I moved 
the father near the son. He embraced him, burst into 
tears, heaved a deep sigh and died. Driven by fear, 
I suddenly began to run straight ahead without 
knowing where, but I kept on running. By some mira- 
cle I came to the bank of the river and from there I 
got home. In the morning I was taken to the hospital. 
It appeared that a shot had grazed the tissue of my 
stomach. M. N. 

c. Testimony of Niunia Krasnopolsky, Nine Years 
Old, the Only Survivor of His Family 

Saturday, May 17, at four o'clock in the morning, 
we were all at home. At our house were also our 
neighbor Maya Lyss, his wife, my mother, my little 
sister, my little brother and myself. One other neigh- 
bor came running to us; her husband had just been 
killed, she said, and asked us to take her somewhere. 
Our neighbor and I were going with her. We had no 
sooner opened the door than about fifteen or so 
bandits rushed in. ."Where are you going?" said one 
of them and shot twice. Our neighbor was hit and 
fell. I ran into a room, our woman neighbor into an- 
other room, where she also was killed. The whole 
time I crouched under the bed and saw how one of the 


band, dressed in a sailor's uniform, shot everybody. 
The soldiers were all quiet. They asked for no money 
and did not shout. They remained about five minutes. 
When they left, I crawled out from under the bed 
and saw that all were dead. I remained in the house. 
A little later another band came. I jumped out 
of the window and ran to the station. There I 
saw Jews being shot, and heard their cries. But 
I did not cry. I asked a boy to tell me in detail 
what he had seen at the station, but he said, "I cannot, 
it is too frightful." I collected cartridges as if nothing 
had happened, as if mama had not been killed. I had 
quite forgotten everything. Then I ran through the 
city and came to the river's bank. I went along the 
bank. Nobody touched me because they thought I was 
a Russian. A soldier came up to me, gave me a sack 
and said, "Go plundering." Then I began to run to 
my relatives', but all was in ruins at the house of one 
aunt as well as the other, and they were not at home. 
Finally I came to the third aunt and there I remained. 


d. Testimony of Terpiansky 

Saturday, at nine o'clock in the morning, there was 
a knock at the house of Boganovsky. He would 
not open. Then they began to break the doors in. 
Seeing this, Boganovsky opened the door. Six soldiers 
came into the room and asked for money. The women 
had hidden themselves under the bed. One of the 
soldiers must have noticed it, for he pulled the women 
out from under the bed by their legs. After he had 
pulled them all out, they were told to go out into the 
yard. There the women had to lie on the ground while 
the men had their money taken away. After they had 


taken the money from Boganovsky they placed him 
against the wall and fired on him.. One shot went 
through his hand, the other grazed his head. The 
women raised a terrible cry. The bandits began to 
fire on the women. Boganovsky meanwhile was left 
in peace. He lay half unconscious and they thought 
he was dead. After they had murdered the women, 
the bandits attacked Mandel and Khazonov. They 
were taken out on the street. One soldier knocked 
Mandel down and shot him. Khazonov fell down 
himself (apparently he fainted), and was shot as he 
lay. Khazonov left a son, who lost his reason as a 
result of the horrors. He lay the whole time under 
the bed and was not noticed by the soldiers. 


Testimony of Ben Yankelevich Tsukernik, 65 Years 
Old, An Innkeeper, Who Can Read and Write 

On the i /th of June a man of Koziakov's and 
Popov's gangs, with arms in his hand, came into my 
beer house through the window and demanded money. 
On the approach of the gang I hid my family in the 
cellar. I, a feeble old man, remained in the house 
alone. I at once gave the man 100 rubles. Then an- 
other soldier came in, said he was the chief and ordered 
the first one to return the money. Soon others ap- 
peared and with the consent of the chief began to 
plunder my house. After they had taken away every- 
thing I had, they demanded that I, being a communist 
as they maintained, should go to -the Staff with my 
50 year old nephew Mendel Vinokur. The Staff were 
in the cellar of the Feldman house, where there were 
already a number of victims who had been brought to 


be slaughtered. One after the other was taken into 
the cellar. The leader was an adjutant of Popov 
and Shevchenko. The order was "Cut them down, 
spare your bullets!" Near the door stood the two 
executioners, a Russian and a Moldavian, with drawn 
sabers in their hands. The command was, "One, two, 
three, strike !" As my foot touched the lowest step of 
the cellar, I received a stunning blow with a saber, one 
on my hand and one on my head. Although I felt 
that I was still able to stand on my feet, my instinct 
told me that it would be better to fall down into the 
darkness below farther away from my executioners. 
I fell on the wet, slippery floor soiled with my own 
blood and that of the others. With one foot 
I touched a body that, was altogether unrecogniz- 
able. I began to feel about me. There were dead 
bodies all over. Near me there were twelve. Here and 
there you could hear low groans. Soon a new body 
fell on top of me. In the dark I recognized my good 
friend, the sixty-three-year-old Shmul Pasternak. He 
was groaning, yet he tried to touch me lightly, and 
whispered, "Sha, sha!" (Keep quiet.) 

Creeping along and pulling my friend with me, I 
got into the corner of a room and hid myself behind a 
barrel. In the short distance which I covered as I 
crept, I came upon severed hands and other parts of 
the human body, which I thrust away from me in 
horror. After an hour, which seemed to me a whole 
eternity, I heard calling, "Whoever is alive come out !" 
But I was afraid to utter a sound. After listening, 
however, more carefully I heard the lamentations of 
our women and mothers in the Jewish language and 
understood that the bandits must have gone away. It 
was in fact the peasants of our place who had come out 


of sympathy to carry us out. With great difficulty I 
took my friend on my back, came out to the exit and 
gave a sign of life. They pulled us out and took us 
into the fresh air. I was saved, I know not how. I 
was saved by a miracle. My friend died. My nephew 
who was seized along with me was, as was proved 
later, tortured and slaughtered in the most brutal 
fashion. I remember as I was being taken to the 
Staff, the executioners said to me that I would be at 
once cut down with the saber. I began to beg them 
and said it would be better if they would shoot me. 
Thereupon they answered, "It can't be done, we have 
been ordered to cut down with the saber." With these 
words they picked up a hand lying near, showed it to 
me and said, "You see, it is a pity to use a bullet." 
After these words, I received the blows on the head 
and the hand. 

July 9, 1919. 


Report of B. Sandier, President of the Temporary 
Soviet of Trostianetz 

In my home town, Trostianetz, unhappy and ruined 
forevermore, there was a belief among the people that 
on account of a blessing it once received from a saint 
there would never be pogroms or bloodshed there. The 
people were convinced of the truth of the legend, espe- 
cially during the last months when the bands of Petlura 
in their retreat swept away and destroyed everything, 
and yet comparatively spared our town and confined 
themselves to a partial pogrom and the destruction of 


property. Some time passed. The population began 
to recover from the injuries and losses caused by the 
bandits. Again they thought of the good saint who 
with invisible eyes was protecting the welfare of the 
town. Life in the town flowed along normally and 
peacefully, when the Soviet power established its rule 
and the political department appointed a military-revo- 
lutionary committee, to which our town sent one of its 
representatives. Then came the ninth of May, and one 
of the greatest tragedies in the world was enacted in 
our town, which led to an unsparing extermination of 
almost the entire male population at the hands of the 
insurrectionary bands. 

When I begin to describe the bloody events of which 
I was an eye-witness from beginning to end, a shud- 
der takes hold of me. It is too much for me to bear, 
for wherever I look I see the same thing blood, blood. 
From whatever side you approach the tragedy, from 
whatever angle you consider it, it appears frightful and 
gruesome both in regard to the acts of the fiendish 
intellectuals of the place, the insults and tortures which 
they inflicted upon their victims, and in regard to the 
organization and extension of the districts in which 
the persecutions took place, the diabolical thirst for 
blood exhibited by the mob and the secrecy of the plan 
which was hatched long before this unhappy day and 
was carried out obstinately to the minutest detail. 
Yes, it is too terrible to describe all this. I feel as if I 
were beginning to kill people myself. But it can not 
be helped. I shall have to carry my memories with 
me to the end. We, eye-witnesses, who saw those 
streams of blood; who heard the groans of the mar- 
tyrs; the weeping and wailing of hundreds of widows 
and orphans, of brothers and sisters and children; 


who for eight days heard the terrible tolling of bells 
in all church towers ; who saw the pogromists, execu- 
tioners with pitchforks, spades, axes, pickaxes we 
who saw and heard all this, are marked men, men 
departed from life. 

An armed insurrectionary band came in like a flood, 
drove back the members of the Red Army, a part of 
whom ran to the station while the others joined the in- 
surrectionists. One heard the cries of the people who 
were seized by a wild panic, and the furious and unin- 
terrupted tolling of the bells, which struck fear into 
our hearts and announced a storm. I was seized by a 
terrible excitement and despair and hurried to the 
city. In the city the usual pogrom scenes were being 
enacted. From all sides men came running with arms 
in their hands. They robbed, they screamed, they 
scoffed, "Now where is your Red Army? Give up 
your arms or we strike you dead." This bacchanal 
lasted some time, until they began to pull out all men 
and boys, and beat them and carried them away. Some 
said they were going to be fined, others said they 
would be imprisoned and shot. In this way until eve- 
ning almost all the men had been captured, except 
those who knew how to hide themselves well. The 
town was like dead. The men who had been collected 
together and a few fathers, brothers, husbands and 
wives who came of their own accord were taken into 
the building of the former Commissariat. 

A frightful and anxious night descended upon the 
town. The stillness was as that of the grave, broken 
here and there by occasional shots and heart-rending 
cries. In the morning it became known that during 
the night the bandits had killed eighteen persons in 
their homes, among them two women. 


The following day the bands took up their pogrom 
activity in an intensified degree. They ran through 
the place, busied themselves with pillage and plunder, 
perpetrated a few murders, sought out concealed per- 
sons and took them to the building of the Commis- 
sariat, which together with the entire street was cor- 
doned off from the town, so that no one could get in 
or out. 

What fate was being prepared for the persons under 
arrest ; what they intended to do with them ; what they 
were preparing in secret when they began to dig that 
terrible grave of thirty-five "arshin" in length, which 
later received all those martyrs who had to spend thirty 
hours in the building of the Commissariat under the 
darkest forebodings, thirsty and in stifling air; what 
was going on behind the wall of the town was veiled 
in deepest darkness. We only saw more armed men 
marching in from the neighboring villages. Besides, 
we all cherished the hope that surely they could not 
kill all those people who were taken to the Commis- 
sariat. No one had such horrible premonitions. That 
was a terribly sad mistake. The fate of the martyrs 
had been decided in advance. On the morning of the 
loth of May they began to dig their graves. The 
counter-revolutionists and monarchists of all stations 
and tendencies exerted themselves to the utmost on this 
unhappy day. They worked untiringly the whole night 
and the whole day, preparing the bloody events which 
began on the loth of May at five o'clock in the after- 
noon, and which will never disappear from the history 
of the people. 

At two o'clock in the afternoon the people assembled 
in the community house to decide definitely what to 
do with the "little Jews." Various opinions were ex- 


pressed. The numerous assembly was divided into 
several groups. Some cried, "Down with the Jews, 
with their wives and children, let not a soul remain." 
Others demanded that the young people alone should 
be done away with and the others should have to pay an 
mdemnity. The third group recommended that only 
those who belonged to the Red Army should be exter- 
minated. Only a few tried to restrain the crowd from 
the disgraceful work on the ground that enough blood 
had already been shed. It came to a vote. The 
assembly, according to the testimony of a peasant, 
divided into two camps, which balanced each other, 
some having abstained from voting. Suddenly the 
bloody ambassador who played the decisive role in the 
tragedy rushed up on horseback and called out to the 
crowd, "Brothers, to the harness quickly! The Jews 
from Obodovka and Verkhovka are coming up behind 
us in armored automobiles." This hellish fiend was 
Drevinsky, a former Petlurist officer, who had just 
been declared commandant of the rebels. There was 
great excitement. Amid the tumult one heard cries, 
"Go on, brothers, we will kill them all and not leave 
a single one alive." 

The two camps became one, and were transformed 
into a furious mob, who ran straight to the Commis- 
sariat, surrounded it and opened fire. 

The unhappy victims, consisting of several hundred 
men and boys, fell on the ground in terror, begged for 
help, cried and wept, but in vain. The bloody watch- 
word was announced to them, "No survivor." 

The bestial crowd soon found that it was not easy 
to destroy so many people by shooting through the 
windows. They went inside and threw bombs and 
hand grenades into the mass of people crazed with 


terror and threatening to choke and kill each 
other. A bloody dance of death began. Knives 
flashed, axes whizzed, special weapons were im- 
provised for the occasion, pickaxes and boot heels 
were employed. A river of blood was formed with 
the victims swimming in it. There were tortures and 
abuses such as the world never knew. Dead and half- 
dead bodies were desecrated, red bows dipped in their 
blood were fastened to their breasts with the words, 
"There you have your commune!" Here Beer- 
man and his two daughters were killed in the most 
bestial manner, as the latter fell on their father's neck 
and begged to be allowed to die with him. Mogilev, 
the father, died too, and his daughters made the same 
request as the others. Deutschman, too, perished there 
with his four sons, of whom the oldest was 28, the 
youngest 15. Here all the five brothers Kaphun lost 
their lives, their father having been murdered by 
bandits the year before. Here a martyr's death came 
to a father with three sons of ten, twelve and thirteen 
years respectively; to two fathers and their only sons; 
here two octogenarians met their end, and here Bossa- 
kovsky died in the arms of his wife (who by a miracle 
found her way out of this hell) at the hands of Kos- 
subsky. Look at the building of the Commissariat or 
ask this living witness they will tell you a frightful 
history, the meaning of which is not clear to all, but 
which sounds in our ears like a sentence of death. 

Thus in the course of five hours, from five o'clock 
until ten in the evening, several hundred human lives 
were extinguished. 

When the bloody work was over, some of the rob- 
bers hurried to bring vehicles to carry away the bodies 
of the tortured victims to the reservoirs where the 


sugar factory drains off the water during its operation. 
There, a verst from the town, a ditch had been pre- 
pared, like the graves at the front, where the mutilated 
mass of human beings was thrown in. 

Another gang of bandits fell upon the terror-stricken 
population, began to drag out of the houses those who 
had been left unharmed during the day, as for example 
sick persons suffering from typhus, convalescents, etc., 
and killed them before the eyes of their relatives, vio- 
lated girls and robbed and plundered until suddenly 
there appeared a body of defense which had been 
formed and organized by the criminal leaders them- 
selves when they became aware of the enormities they 
had committed and were frightened of their own deeds. 

What happened in the town the first morning when 
it became known that all the persons collected in the 
Commissariat had been killed cannot be reported 
weeping, sobbing, wailing, hysterical cries, madness, 
fainting and death from heart failure. All wept, the 
heaven and the angels, the disinterested stars and the 
unhappy human beings a sea of tears and endless 
despair. Ruined widows and orphaned children sent 
threatening curses against the whole world, threw 
themselves in measureless grief on the ground and 
begged God for death. 

The executioners who organized themselves as a 
defense in the morning did not even leave the victims 
to their sorrow, but chased them back into the houses 
every moment. The houses were no longer occupied 
by single families, but by several, which consisted only 
of women and children. The remaining houses were 
left to the mob and the women of the village, who car- 
ried away the last remnants of value "under the over- 
sight of the defense." No one asked for food or help. ( 


The children died quietly on the breasts of their half- 
dead mothers. Now and then you could hear the noise 
in the uninhabited houses where the village women 
and the mob were carrying on. On the I7th of May 
Soviet troops appeared, who chased away all the ban- 
dits and drove them into the woods. The seemingly 
dead place woke up and the people crept out of their 
holes. There was terrible hunger. The troops shared 
their rations with the people. When the Soviet troops 
left, the town was again transformed into a cemetery. 
Two monuments of sorrow remained in the unhappy 
town, the blood-stained building of the Commissariat 
and the silent grave in, which the remains of about 
400 innocent victims found their rest. 


President of the temporary Soviet of the Town of 
Trostianetz. i 

May 30, 1919. 


THE results of the sad events cannot be expressed in 
exact numbers, especially at a time when the civil war 
is still going on, and there is no connection between 
different parts of the Ukraine, which are occupied by 
various powers fighting each other. The internal front 
of the Batki has divided the Ukraine into a number of 
unconnected parts.* 

According to the information in the office of the re- 
lief committee of the Red Cross for those injured in 
the pogroms, the complete number of places affected 
up to September 22nd of last year, i.e., up to a time 
when the wave of the Denikin pogroms had not reached 
its highest point, was 372. The number of pogroms in 
these places is however essentially larger and will 
amount to at least 700, as in many places, for ex- 
ample Rodomysl, Cherniakhov, Kornip, Volodarka, 
Yelisavetgrad, Vasilkov, there were four, five and even 
ten pogroms. Some places suffered from one pro- 
longed pogrom until the entire Jewish population and 
every trace of Jewish possessions were completely 
wiped out. 

The following number of places were destroyed: 

*This is true only of the pogroms of 1919. 


Government of Kiev 

District of Chernobyl (Struk) 43 

" Tripolie (Zeleny) 9 

" Cherkassy-Chigirin (Grig- 

oriev) 21 

" Berdichev 5 

" Tarascha 20 

" Uman 12 

" Skvira and Pogrebische .... 30 

" Kiev 16 

" Radomysl-Zhitomir ( Soko- 

lovsky) 52 

Total 208 
Government of Volhynia 

District of Ovruch 26 

Zhitomir 20 

Rovno 10 

Total 56 

Government of Podolia 

District of Gaisin 29 

" Balta 8 

" Vinnitza 16 

" Proskurov I 

" Kamenetz-Podolsk i 

Total 55 


Government of Kherson 23 

" Poltava 15 

" Chernigov 7 

Yekaterinoslav i 

Grand total 365 

Below is a classification according to bands: 
Regular Troops and Bands of Petlura 

Zhitomir, Proskurov, Ovruch, Felshtin, Korosten, 
Balta, Rovno, Litin, Kremenetz-Kodyma, Trostianetz, 
Krivoie Ozero, Theophipol, Kotelnya, Zhmerinka, 
Pikov, Yanov, Gaisin, Pecheri, Tulchin, Radomysl, 
Vasilkov, Rossovo, Skvira, Boguslav, Yelisavetgrad, 
Novo-Mirgorod, Poltava, Kobeliaki, Ramodan, Piria- 
tin, Berdichev, Znamenka, etc. 

Places destroyed 120 

Killed 15,000 

Bands of Sokolovsky (District of Radomy si- 

Radomysl, Makarov, Brussilov, Kornip, Khodorkov, 
Korostyshev, Yassnogorodka, etc. 

Places destroyed 70 

Killed 3,ooo 

Bands of Zeleny (District of Tripolie) 

Tripolie, Rzhischev, Vasilkov, Obuchovo, Pereyas- 
lev, Pogrebische, Bielaia Tserkov, Tatiev, Pliskov, 
Rushin, etc. 


Places destroyed 15 

Killed 2,000 

Bands of Struk (District of Chernobyl) 

Chernobyl, Gornostaipol, Ivankov, Khabno, Meshi- 
gore, Vishgorod, etc. 

Places destroyed 41 

Killed 1,000 

Bands of Sokolovsky and Others (District of Uman- 
Skvira-Pogrebische ) 

Uman, Dubovo, Talnoie, Kristinovka, Ladyzhenka, 
Skvira, Volodarka, Novo-Fastov, Pogrebische, Dzhun- 
kov, Borshchagovka, Priluki, Turbov, Vakhnovka, 
Lipovetz, Golovanevsk, etc. 

Places destroyed 38 

Killed 2,000 

Bands of Grigoriev (District of Cherkassy-Y elisav- 


Cherkassy, Belozeria, Smela, Rotmistrovka, Zlato- 
pol, Chigirin, Gorodische, Matusovo, Yelisavetgrad, 
Novo-Mirgorod, Znamenka, Alexandria, etc. 

Places destroyed 40 

Killed , , , ,6*000 


Bands of Yatzenko and Golub (District of Tarascha) 

Tarascha, Boguslav, Mironovka, Rossovo, Stie- 
pantsy, Stavische, etc. 

Places destroyed 16 

Killed 1,000 

Red Bands 

Vasilkov, Zolotonosha, Obuchovo, Rossovo, Pogre- 
bische, Volochisk, Korosten, Brailov, Korsun, Klevan, 
Rovno, Gaisin, etc. 

Places destroyed 13 

Killed 500 

Grand total killed 30,500 

This figure, however, does not by any means give 
a correct idea of the actual number of persons who 
perished. No account is taken in the above figures 
of the many victims who gave up their lives in places 
that could not be recorded because there has not been 
any connection with them so far and no investigations 
in those regions have yet been made, as for example in 
the western parts of the Governments of Volhynia and 
Podolia, in the southern part of the Government of 
Kherson, etc. Nor have those missing Jewish families 
been included who were exterminated in numerous 
villages and hamlets, or those who were killed during 
their flight from their ruined homes as they wandered 
from place to place, or those who were pulled out of 
railway trains and beaten to death, or those who 
were drowned by being thrown out of steamers, or 
those who were killed in the woods and the highways. 


There is no account taken of the great numbers of 
those who succumbed to their injuries and fell victims 
of contagious and other diseases which they contracted 
during their imprisonment in dark rooms without food, 
drink or clothing. 

The entire number of persons who perished during 
the first period of the pogroms at the time of the Direc- 
tory and the Batki amounts to at least 70,000. 

We have no data on the number of persons who fell 
victims of the Denikin pogroms. The figure 167,000 
given in the above mentioned memorandum which was 
handed to the Zionist Actions Committee and to Dr. 
Margoline is no doubt exaggerated. According to the 
statements of persons recently arrived from the 
Ukraine, the number of those killed in the second 
period of the pogroms is 50,000. If we assume that 
120,000 deaths were due directly to the pogroms, we 
shall not be guilty of exaggeration. To these must be 
added the injured and wounded, those suffering from 
nervous and mental shock and the violated women. 
The pogroms swept the Ukraine like a hurricane, and 
it was impossible to undertake a census of such cases. 
The number, however, must be prodigious, running 
into the tens of thousands. 

So also the number of victims who suffered material 
loss. It may be said that in all of the places which 
were visited by the pogroms the possessions of the 
Jews were completely destroyed. We have a typical 
report in this connection from the village of Orlovetz 
(Government of Kiev), which reads as follows: "The 
plunderers rushed at the Jewish houses. . . . Here 
they were helped by the whole Russian population. 
Everything was loaded on wagons and carried away. 
After they had completely emptied the houses and 


squeezed out in every possible way the last savings of 
the Jews they proceeded to destroy the houses and the 
shops. Shutters, window panes, doors were taken out, 
roofs were torn off, and so on. The greatest zeal was 
shown in searching for money. The floors were torn 
up, the soil was turned up again and again in the barns, 
cellars and yards, ovens were taken apart. ..." A 
similar report comes from Zlatopol, "The shops were 
plundered and then burned down (of 285 shops 275 
were plundered and then burned down). Everything 
was taken away, from hatchets and wooden spoons to 
pianos. The poor water-carrier had his last blind nag 
taken away. Of 1,100 Jewish houses, 1,065 were des- 
troyed. The goods and possessions were carried away 
on thousands of vehicles. The looting lasted two 
weeks." As the local physician, Dr. Isaacson, ex- 
pressed himself, 'The pogrom stopped of itself, since 
everything was looted and all the inhabitants had fled 
to Mirgorod." * The Jewish population of the vil- 
lages and hamlets visited by the pogroms left 
everything behind as it was, and fled without further 
thought to a larger place. The roads were covered 
with the bodies of old men, women and children, and 
in the larger places the same horrible death awaited 
the fugitives. . . . The economic situation of the 
Jews in the large Government cities of the Ukraine is 
desperate. The authorized agent of the Relief Com- 
mittee of the Red Cross reports from Yelisavetgrad, 
"There is need of assistance in every shape and form. 
If Yelisavetgrad should not get any support, the entire 
population will die. This is no exaggeration. The 
people have not a shirt to change and there is no possi- 

*See Appendix, pp. 288 ff. 


bility of getting any. If no help should come the out- 
break of disease is unavoidable. Food exists only in 
very small quantities. The peasants do not come to 
market as they have nothing to buy. Articles of food 
are not coming in and hunger is approaching." An- 
other agent reports, "More than a thousand inhabitants 
of Ladyzhenka are to this day living in Golovanevsk. 
Ragged and barefoot, with a completely decayed shirt 
on the body or without any shirt, healthy and con- 
tagiously diseased men and women are squatting in 
the synagogues, in empty barns or simply in the streets. 
God alone, or the livid and tightly closed lips of these 
people, can tell you how they live and pass the day. 
One sees many biers in the crooked streets of Golo- 
vanevsk, and many collections are made to secure 
shrouds for the Jews of Ladyzhenka. . . ." 

According to existing data, 150,000 men suffered 
material loss in August, 1919, in the Government 
of Kiev. And there is no doubt that In the Govern- 
ments of Podolia, Volhynia and Kherson, the damage 
was not less. It would not therefore be an exaggera- 
tion to say that in the Governments of Kiev, Volhynia 
and Podolia about 600,000 persons suffered material 
loss. This was the calculation of the Relief Commit- 
tee of the Red Cross for the time up to the coming of 
the Denikin pogroms. We may assume that not less 
than half a million were affected materially by the 
latter, and, therefore, that the entire number affected 
was over a million. 

If we add about 50,000 or 60,000 orphans we get a 
complete picture of the destruction of Jewish life in 
the Ukraine. The pogroms in the Ukraine in the year 
1919 form one of the most tragic episodes in the dark 
history of the much-suffering Jewish people. 





Ovruch is a cantonal capital of the government of Volhynia, 
with a population of about 10,000 people. More than two thirds 
of this population are Jews. 

The Jewish population is mostly unpolitical; there were no 
notable revolutionaries among them. In the period of the im- 
perial pogroms Ovruch did not suffer. 

The first pogrom in Ovruch took place in December, 1917, 
under the first Rada. Polish land-owners sojourning in the city 
and canton, and likewise former tsarist officials, true to tsaristic 
principles, sowed seeds of division, and instilled hatred for the 
Jews, attributing to their machinations the increase in the prices 
of products 

Under the influence of their agitations the i6sth Ukrainian 
regiment, quartered in Ovruch, upon its demobilization in De- 
cember, 1917, began to wreck Jewish stores and destroy the 
wares. Peasants of the neighboring villages came with carts and 
carried away all that remained undestroyed. Then the local 
population did the same. Only the stores were destroyed. The 
homes of the Jews did not suffer. 

This pogrom gave occasion for the Jewish ex-soldiers in 
Ovruch to form an organization for self-defense. This operated 
for a considerable time but finally broke up. 

Attitude Towards the Jews Under the Hetman 

Under the Hetman there were no pogroms at all. The power 
of the Hetman was in reality a restorational power; it was col- 
ored in tsarist colors, but, according to the circumstances of 
the moment, in a decidedly faint shade. Under the Hetman 



there was no pogrom-agitation, but there was no lack of anti- 
Semitic propaganda. Among other things, from Zhitomir there 
was received in Ovruch a secret order not to accept Jews in the 
state service, and gradually to discharge those previously 
taken in. 

The power of the Hetman, being a continuation of the tsarist 
power, although in a weakened form, was extremely unpopular 
among the Ukrainian peasants. And when the Germans, owing 
to the circumstances of the time, began to abandon the country, 
uprisings flared up in many places. 

Uprising of the Peasants and formation of the Republic of 

On November 30, 1918, the peasants of the Pokalev district 
[volost], canton of Ovruch, arose. They declared the power 
of the Hetman overthrown and formed the republic of Ovruch. 
The volunteer officers who had been guarding the German power 
in Ovruch, about one hundred in number, fled without making 

The peasants introduced strict order in Ovruch. They imme- 
diately freed the political prisoners from prison, and named one 
of their number, the peasant Dmitriuk, city commissar; a Jew, 
Friedman, member of the Bund, was named his assistant. 

Among other things the peasants proposed to the Jewish com- 
munity that they organize from their own midst a military de- 
tachment of one hundred and fifty men. But the Jews, having 
considered this proposal and recognized that the peasant govern- 
ment which had been formed had not sufficient guarantees of 
durability, wisely declined to form such a detachment. 

At this time the power of the Hetman in Ukraine definitely 
fell; the Directory of Petlura came into power. 

Bolshevism Among the Pokalev Peasants 

Under the influence of the White Russian bolsheviks, who on 
the side of Kalinkovichi are the nearest neighbors of the Pokalev 
peasants, tendencies to bolshevism began to develop in violent 
measure among the latter, and bolshevist demands were heard 
ever more loudly. There was formed a majority of bolsheviks, 
and a minority which was ready to join the Ukrainian national 

Dmitriuk and Friedman, who stood at the head of the Ovruch 
republic, came out against the bolshevist tendencies of the 


Pokalevites. Dmitriuk was killed and Friedman saved himself 
by flight. 

A certain Meschanchuk, as I believe an anti-Semite and black- 
hundred man, had already been named by the Pokalevites as com- 
mandant of the city of Ovruch. He secretly entered into agree- 
ment with the Petlura government in Korosten, informed it of 
the bolshevist tendencies in Ovruch and invited thither the so- 
called "Clan of Death." 

"The Clan of Death" (Kuren Smerti) 

The Clan of Death arrived in the city by night, surrounded 
the Pokalevites and disarmed them. Then the Cossacks of this 
Clan began to go around to the homes of the Jews, to remove 
the weapons. They found no weapons, but did find money and 
valuable property in many houses. All this they took. Thus 
began the plundering in Ovruch. 

The Jews went with complaints to the commandant Meschan- 
chuk. He quieted them by declaring that. the regular army 
would soon appear and that then the plunderings would stop. In 
fact, there did appear on the twenty-fifth of December in Ovruch 
a detachment of guerrilla-soldiers with the ataman Kozyr-Zyrka 
at their head. To those who met him Kozyr-Zyrka declared 
that he had come to introduce order in the city. Some say that 
Meschanchuk, in presenting a report on the condition of the 
town, had declared that bolshevism was raging there and that 
the Jews were to blame for it. 

The Ataman Kozyr-Zyrka 

Legends have sprung up in Ovruch about the personality of 
Kozyr-Zyrka. Some assert that he was a certain count from 
Bielaia Tserkov, and that Kozyr-Zyrka was not his real name, 
but only a pseudonym. 

Others declare that he was a runaway Galician convict, in 
support of which they point among other things to the tattooing 
on his arms. 

But all descriptions agree in this, that he was a handsome 
young fellow, a fiery brunet of gypsy type, with good manners, 
a fine orator, speaking exclusively in the Galician-Ukrainian 
dialect. He did not speak Russian, though he understood the 
language very well. 

Kozyr-Zyrka considered it his first duty to become acquainted 
with the attitudes of the various social groups. Therefore he 


invited to meet him the mayor of the town, a Pole named 
Moshinsky, and the representatives of various social organiza- 
tions, mostly Poles and former tsarist officials. What these 
invited guests told Kozyr-Zyrka remained unknown, but it is 
not difficult to make a guess. 

Arrest of the Clerical Rabbi 

Having heard the representatives of the Christian community, 
the Ataman decided to make the acquaintance of a representative 
of the Jewish community. Therefore he ordered the Jewish 
clerical Rabbi arrested and brought to him. 

The Rabbi was arrested December 26 about 2 P.M., and was 
brought to the commandant's headquarters. There he was de- 
tained until 10 P.M., steadily exposed to all manner of 
taunts on the part of the Cossacks. At last at 10 P.M. he 
stood before the eyes of the ataman Kozyr-Zyrka. The latter 
received' him extremely rudely, and, after questioning him in 
a prejudiced way, announced to him : "I know that you are a 
bolshevik, that all your relatives and all Jews are bolsheviks. 
Know that I am going to destroy all the Jews in the city. Get 
them together in the synagogue and inform them of what I have 
told you." 

First Murders 

With these words he dismissed the Rabbi, late at night. In 
the same night Cossacks surrounded a peasant's cart, in which 
Jewish boys and girls, gymnasium students from Mozyr, were 
riding. The Cossacks demanded that the peasants give up to 
them the "Jewish brats," but the peasants saved them. How- 
ever, they arrested a young Jew from Kalinkovichi, who was 
passing through Ovruch, and took him to the Ataman. And on 
the ground that he was from Kalinkovichi, which was in the 
hands of the bolsheviki, Kozyr-Zyrka declared him also a bol- 
shevik and ordered him shot. 


There were also arrested two Jews passing through from the 
hamlet Narodichi; they were peddlers of cheap tobacco and 
matches. They were declared profiteers and brought to the 
Ataman. There they were stripped naked, scourged with whips, 
and made to dance. At the same time a bundle of tobacco was 
thrust into the mouth of one and a box of matches into the 


other's. Kozyr-Zyrka himself stood with raised revolver and 
threatened to shoot them, if they stopped dancing. Afterwards 
they made them beat each other and kiss the spot beaten. They 
also compelled them to cross themselves, etc. After amusing 
themselves with them as much as they liked they drove them 
out naked on the street, and then threw out their clothes after 
them. (Testimony of Rabbi Kipnis 10-11, Weilerman 13-16, 
et a/.) 

Departure of Kozyr-Zyrka and Second Seizure by the 

The twenty-seventh of December passed in petty robberies in 
Jewish homes. At this time the following incident occurred. 
A detachment of Cossacks went to the hamlet Narodichi for 
the requisition of leather. Returning, the detachment halted in 
a certain village. There the Cossacks drank too much. When 
they went on, the peasants ambushed them and fired upon them. 
Four Cossacks were killed; the rest rode into Ovruch. This 
incident produced a profound impression upon Kozyr-Zyrka and 
his partisans, and in the same night they left Ovruch and re- 
turned to Korosten. 

The Pokalev peasants again took command of the city. First 
of all they went to the prison, where were the land-owners and 
foresters whom they had previously arrested, and slaughtered 
them all. Then they fell upon several land-owners living in the 
city, and wounded them badly,' and likewise severely wounded 
the wife of a forester who was under arrest, and her sister, 
who was visiting her, and the latter's child. 

Second Attack of Kozyr-Zyrka 

On December 31 Kozyr-Zyrka again approached Ovruch with 
heavy reinforcements and began to fire on the town with heavy 
guns. The Pokalevites replied to them for the course of an 
hour, but then were silenced. Kozyr-Zyrka continued to fire 
on the town, and finally his bands burst into the city, where a 
bloody bacchanalia began. 

Pogrom in the Villages Potapovichi and Geshovo. 

By way of preface it must be observed that on the way to 
Ovruch near the village Potapovichi the road was found torn up. 
Someone said to the Cossacks that the Jews had done this. 


Then the Cossacks decided to settle with the Jews of the near-by 

In Potapovichi there were only four Jewish families, and the 
Cossacks, entering the village, began to rob and murder them 
and violate the women. In one house the owner was away; his 
three daughters and son-in-law were there. On the person of 
one of the daughters was hidden about a hundred rubles. The 
Cossacks took this and other money, and likewise every piece 
of valuable property. They violated the women, and since the 
latter, especially the two girls, resisted, they beat them until 
their faces were turned into masses of blood. The son-in-law, 
who had just returned from war-captivity, was taken out in the 
yard, where another Jew was found. They shot both of them, 
killing the son-in-law outright, while the other Jew was only 
wounded, but pretended to be dead, and so saved himself. From 
this house they went to a Jewish blacksmith, who had just 
returned from the front. They sent two bullets into him, and 
were preparing to shoot a Russian boy servant of his, who 
was in hysterics. The mortally wounded blacksmith gath- 
ered his strength together and cried: "Why are you killing 
him? He is Russian." The Cossacks made sure the boy really 
was Russian, and left him in peace. But since the blacksmith, 
by interceding for him, had shown that he was still alive, they 
finished him off. After this they went out into the yard, where 
they met an old man, the blacksmith's father-in-law, and killed 
him, as well as a boy, the blacksmith's nephew. 

From Potapovichi they went to the village of Geshovo, to hunt 
for Jews there. In this village lived a number of Jews, but they 
all had time to flee; only one deaf old melamed (teacher) re- 
mained. The Cossacks took him along with them and set out 
in the direction of Ovruch. On the way they met an old shokhet 
returning to his home. They seized him, too, and on the spot 
hung both old men on a high tree, one by a telegraph-wire, the 
other by a strap. The latter, the peasants say, fell down several 
times, but each time they hung him up again. Then they took 
them down from the high tree and hung them on a small tree, 
to which they affixed a placard saying that "Whoever takes them 
down has not more than two minutes to live." In consequence 
of this the peasants would not let them be taken down. And 
only when the bodies began to decay did the Jews succeed in 
taking them down and burying them in a nearby place. 

In all nine Jews were killed in Potapovichi and Geshovo. 

(Testimony of Glossman, pp. 33-35.) Such was the prelude to 

what afterwards took place in Ovruch. 


Murders, Violations and Robberies 

Having entered Ovruch after midday, December thirty-first, 
the Cossacks scattered over the city and began to rob and 
murder the Jews. One detachment went to the market-place and 
there seized about ten Jewish girls, whom the Cossacks dragged 
into the Feitelson inn, where the girls were exposed to inde- 
scribable persecutions and violence. 

Other Cossacks at this time were killing every Jew they met. 
One Jew whom they attacked took refuge in a near-by house. 
The Cossacks went into a house, where they thought he was 
hiding, and found a father and three sons sitting at table. They 
led all four out into the yard and shot them one after another. 
They came to the house of the lawyer Glossman, an educated 
man, a member of the commune. They took him and his old 
father out in the street, then decided to free the old man and 
told him to go. But he refused to abandon his son, and the 
Cossacks began to beat the old man with whips, in the course 
of which they struck out his only eye (he had long lost his 
other eye) ; and they shot the younger Glossman on the spot. 
The Ataman Kozyr-Zyrka was present on horseback at this 

The mayor of the town, Moshinsky, was passing by at that 
time, and young Glossman, who was very well known to him, 
applied to him to intercede and tell the Cossacks whether he 
was a bolshevik. But Moshinsky went on, pretending not to 
hear the entreaty. This is a characteristic incident. 

The Cossacks dispersed about the town, and in parties entered 
the houses, stole money and property, beat up old men, violated 
women, and killed young Jews. Many of those whom they pre- 
pared to shoot bought their safety with money, the price of the 
ransom being very considerable. Thus, late in the evening, a 
number of Cossacks appeared in the house of Rosenmann. In 
this house, besides the old mother and two daughters, were two 
sons, one of whom had for several weeks been lying sick abed. 
The son who was well they took for a Russian (he is, in fact, 
not Jewish in appearance), and told him to go, but, finding that 
he was a son of the house, detained him. They also demanded 
that the sick son should get dressed and go with them. But, 
having convinced themselves that he was really seriously sick 
and could not get up, they contented themselves with leaving 
one Cossack by his bedside ; the well son they took out into the 
yard, where the other Cossacks were waiting for them. There 
they stood him up against a wall, and one Cossack loaded his 


gun. The young man began to beg them not to kill him, prom- 
ising a large ransom. "Give us twelve thousand," demanded one 
of the Cossacks. The young man assured them that his family 
would pay this sum for him. Then the Cossacks led him into 
the house, where his mother and sisters lay in a deep swoon. 
They brought the women to consciousness, and the women be- 
gan to search the house for money. But only two thousand 
rubles were found in the house. The Cossacks consented to 
take this money on condition that the remaining 10,000 rubles 
should be paid on the next day by 10 A.M. They said they 
would appear at this time, and if the money should not be 
handed over they would kill all. 

In fact, on the next morning at the appointed time two 
Cossacks appeared, and, having received the 10,000 rubles as 
agreed, they declared that the Rosenmanns could now live in 
peace, since their names would be recorded at headquarters and 
no one would disturb them further. The Cossacks kept their 
word. The Rosenmanns were not troubled further, whereas 
visits were made to other Jews by different parties of Cossacks, 
the later parties taking whatever their predecessors had failed 
to get. The Cossacks disdained absolutely nothing; they took 
off the Jews' clothing and shoes. It is characteristic that the 
Cossack who led out Rosenmann to shoot him gave the impres- 
sion of being a cultivated man ; he had clean hands, and valuable 
rings shone on them. He spoke with a marked Polish accent. 
(Testimony of Rosenmann, p. 27.) 

In another case a somewhat drunken officer, a captain, de- 
manded of the Jewish keeper of a small inn that he should 
immediately serve dinner to his entire company, and pay him 
personally 5,000 rubles. When the innkeeper declared that it 
was impossible to fulfil this at once, since he had no money and 
still less provisions to feed a whole company, the captain gave 
orders to lay him out and beat him with whips. His daughter, 
who had been about to hide herself, ran out and covered her 
father with her own body. Then lashes were distributed upon 
her and everyone else in the house. Then the captain took the 
innkeeper away with him. His daughter followed her father. 
At first the captain demanded that she go away, but finally al- 
lowed her to follow her father. He took them to his quarters, 
placed a revolver on the table, and ordered the daughter to 
prepare a dinner for his company in the course of the day and 
provide him with 5,000 rubles, otherwise her father would be 
shot at evening. It occurred to the old man to use this pro- 
posal to save himself. He assured the captain that his daughter 


could do nothing, but that if they would let him go for a single 
hour, he would get the money and provisions. After long hesi- 
tation the captain agreed to let the old man go for half an 
hour. The old man ran to his home, which, by that time, had 
been stripped bare by the Cossacks. He advised his family to 
hide wherever they could, and then hid himself in a garret with 
acquaintances. Afterwards he and his family fled from the 
town. (Testimony of Wachlis, p. 36.) 

In the first two days seventeen Jews were killed. The Jews 
applied to the mayor, Moshinsky, begging him to send a depu- 
tation of two Christians and one Jew to the Ataman to beg him 
to stop the pogrom. The mayor promised to do so, but in the 
end did nothing. Then the old men and women (the young 
Jews were all hiding) went with tears and lamentations to the 
house of the Ataman. The Ataman consented to receive a depu- 
tation of three from those who had come. When the deputation 
was admitted, he demanded that all the male Jewish popu- 
lation between the ages of 15 and 40 should appear on the 
square near headquarters on the next day. 

Panic Among the Jews 

This demand threw the Jewish population into a fearful panic. 
All were convinced that the working Jewish population was 
being demanded for slaughter. However, it was impossible to 
disobey the command. So on the next day the entire Jewish 
population between the ages of 15 and 40, protected by old men 
and women, appeared at the appointed spot near the headquarters 
building. After about an hour Kozyr-Zyrka at last rode up in 
an automobile. The Jews cried "Long live the Ataman, long 
live Ukraine!" Kozyr-Zyrka got out of the automobile and 
delivered a speech to them in which he enumerated all their 
"bolshevistic crimes." 

Kozyr-Zyrka 's Speech to the Jews 

In his speech, spoken in beautiful Galician-Ukrainian dialect, 
he said that he had the right to destroy all the Jews, and would 
do so if even a single Cossack suffered. In Potapovichi he had 
already done so, shooting a Jewish spy himself. He would 
destroy all Jews in Ovruch, if a single Cossack suffered. There- 
fore he advised the Jews, if there was a single bolshevik spy 
among them, to strangle him with their own hands. 

When Kozyr-Zyrka finished his speech, the Jews cried hurrah. 


The fiscal Rabbi proposed to him that all Jews should swear 
loyalty to Ukraine and furnish a military detachment from their 
midst. The Ataman replied that he had no use for Jewish 
oaths or Jewish detachments. He permitted the Jews to breathe 
the air of Ukraine, but demanded that they remember his warn- 
ing. The Jews dispersed and began to consider how they could 
move the Ataman. They collected about 20,000 rubles and gave 
it to him, for gifts to the Cossacks. 


Kozyr-Zyrka accepted the money, but observed that not many 
gifts could be bought for this sum. He demanded 50,000 rubles 
more. The Jews promised to collect it. But since they were 
all plundered and ruined, it was not easy to collect such an 
amount. It was necessary to apply to the small artisans and 
Jewish servants, who contributed their savings. 

Having received the extra sum, Kozyr-Zyrka issued an order 
forbidding plundering. But plundering continued on that and 
the following days. 

Requisition of Tailors and Cobblers 

At the same time Kozyr-Zyrka requisitioned all Jewish tailors 
and cobblers, and ordered them to work on the clothing stolen 
from the Jews. They made shoes, cloaks, uniforms, trousers, 
etc. Out of women's silk skirts were made scarfs and the like. 
They were compelled to work from 8 A.M. to midnight, even on 
Fridays. No food was allowed them during working hours. 
(Testimony of Shetman, p. 21; Stoland, p. 12.) 

Kozyr-Zyrka as Judge 

Kozyr-Zyrka also undertook to settle civil disputes. To give 
an idea of the sort of judge he was it is enough to cite the fol- 
lowing case. A certain Jewess was in possession of some land 
by inheritance. The original owner had acquired the land from 
a peasant by purchase. A peasant, descendant of the seller, 
taking advantage of the agrarian disorder, had already brought 
suit for the land under the first Rada, and his suit had been 
denied. When Kozyr-Zyrka appeared, and the peasant felt sure 
that Jews had no rights, he applied to him with a suit for this 
same land. Kozyr-Zyrka ordered the peasant to bring to him 
the husband of the respondent. But the latter did not believe 


that Kozyr-Zyrka had really summoned him, and did not go. 
Then the Ataman sent for him. When the Jew arrived, he asked 
him why he had not come before. He replied that he had no 
reason to believe that the peasant was really conveying to him 
the command of the Ataman. Kozyr-Zyrka ordered the Jew 
stripped and twenty-five lashes administered to him, which was 
done in his presence. Half an hour after this he proceeded to 
question the Jew about the land. The latter replied that, being 
fearfully beaten, he was not in condition to talk at all, and that 
as far as the land was concerned it belonged not to him but to his 
wife, who could give the necessary information. The Ataman 
summoned the wife. She showed him a copy of the court 
decision recognizing her right to the ownership of the land. 
Kozyr-Zyrka was not satisfied with this and demanded, for the 
settlement of the dispute, the presentation of witnesses by both 
sides. The witnesses were presented, and all confirmed the 
fact that the Jewess was the lawful owner of the land. Then 
Kozyr-Zyrka ordered the Jewess to hand over a written docu- 
ment to the effect that she voluntarily yielded the land to the 
peasant and renounced forever all claims to that land. The 
document was furnished. (Testimony of Kheierman, p. 35.) 

Requisition of Musicians 

Kozyr-Zyrka also was fond of entertainment. He requisi- 
tioned a Jewish orchestra, making it its duty to play at all 
Cossack parties. To the sounds of the music of this same 
orchestra Kozyr-Zyrka once scourged two bolshevik peasants. 
They were given a countless number of blows, and then shot. 

Kozyr-Zyrka Amuses Himself 

Kozyr-Zyrka also was fond of more "refined entertainments." 
One evening they brought him nine comparatively young Jews 
and one elderly and stout one. The Cossacks had driven them 
pellmell through the streets. When the Jews, panting, came at 
last into the Ataman's rooms, he was lying in his bed undressed, 
and his assistant was also lying undressed in another bed. Right 
there they compelled the Jews to dance, meanwhile chasing 
them, especially the stout one, with whips. After this they 
demanded that they sing Jewish songs. But it turned out that 
none of them knew the Jewish songs by heart. Then the Ata- 
man's assistant began to recite the words of the songs in the 


"jargon" (Yiddish), and the Jews had to repeat them in sing- 
song. For a long time they sang and danced, while Kozyr- 
Zyrka and his friend and assistant laughed merrily. Then the 
Jews were taken into another room and fools' caps were put 
on their heads. They were brought before the Ataman again, 
a candle was put in the hands of each, and in that aspect they 
had to sing songs. Kozyr-Zyrka and his friend were so con- 
vulsed with laughter that the latter's bed even broke down 
under him. The Jews were compelled to raise the bed and put 
it in order, while the officer remained lying upon it. One of 
the Jews could not endure these persecutions and began to weep. 
Kozyr-Zyrka observed to him that 120 rods was the penalty for 
crying. The Jew said: "In that case I will sing." "Well, sing 
then," was the answer, and the Jew began to sing again. 

During an "entracte" the Ataman's friend said: "It's time to 
let them have their trousers." But Kozyr-Zyrka this time did 
not agree. Having amused himself as much as he liked, the 
Atamans let the Jews go, and gave them a chauffeur as escort so 
that the guards should not shoot them. The chauffeur con- 
ducted them, but demanded to be paid 15,000 rubles for saving 
their lives. Of course they had no such sum. But the chauffeur 
went home with each one and collected of their families as much 
as each could pay. (Testimony of Beioband, p. 23.) 

It is hard to count all the characteristic incidents which took 
place in Ovruch while it was Kozyr-Zyrka's capital. But we 
must dwell on the following incident. 

The Case of Herzbein 

The Poles and former tsarist officials, in their newspapers, 
spread the report that the Jews had plotted a St. Bartholomew's 
night against the Christians, and had marked as many as 150 
victims. They asserted that a list of the fated ones existed, 
and that the list was written by the hand of a petty advocate 
Herzbein. The latter was arrested. As often happens in such 
cases, those who had invented this calumny ended by believing 
themselves in their own invention. The Christians became 
excited, and applied to Kozyr-Zyrka. He confirmed the existence 
of the list, but showed it to no one. The excitement increased. 
Some of the Christians began to leave the town. 

In reference to Herzbein it must be noted that he took no 
part in politics at all. He moved entirely among Christians, 
where he had many friends; he scarcely had any dealings with 
Jewish society. His wife applied to Christian friends to inter- 


cede for her husband, whom they knew well, as a man not con- 
nected with politics or with Jews. But they refused. 

The probable history of the above-mentioned "list" is some- 
thing like this. Upon the fall of the Hetman's power the mayor, 
Moshinsky, summoned an assembly of many Christians, mostly 
land-owners and officials, and proposed to organize for self- 
defense in case of the arrival of the Petlurists. A list was 
drawn up in which were entered about 100 names, exclusively 
Christians. Since Herzbein was noted for his good handwriting 
but also, perhaps, for other reasons Moshinsky asked him to 
copy this list, which he did. It is extremely likely that some- 
one, with provocatory intent, handed over this list to the com- 
mandant, as a list of Christians marked for slaughter. 

Herzbein's wife applied to the mayor, asking him to summon 
the council to unveil the slander and re-establish her husband's 
good name. Moshinsky gave his promise, but when she came to 
see him again, she was told that he had left town. She then 
applied to his substitute, who likewise promised, but did 

Only the president of the council, the notary Olshansky, sym- 
pathized with her. He sent around a summons to a session of 
the council. But only Jews appeared for that session; the 
Christians absented themselves ; there was no quorum, and 
the session could not be held. Since the reports of the impend- 
ing "St Bartholomew's eve" continued to excite the Christians, 
some of them applied to Kozyr-Zyrka to investigate and find out 
how serious the rumors were. There also appeared before him 
the notary Olshansky and an official who knew Herzbein well. 
They declared that they were firmly convinced that Herzbein 
could not be the author of such a list. Kozyr-Zyrka an- 
swered that he himself attributed no serious significance to the 
list and to the rumors that were circulating, and that to quiet 
the Christian population he would issue an announcement to 
this effect. As for Herzbein, he promised to free him at once. 
He confirmed his promise to free Herzbein to the latter's wife. 
He did actually issue an announcement to the effect that the 
rumors about a St. Bartholomew's eve planned by the Jews 
appeared to be a "provocation." This announcement, largely 
dealing with the establishment of the home guard, about which 
more will be said below, is attached hereunto. As for Herz- 
bein, in spite of all his promises, he did not release him, and 
he was finally shot. (Testimony of Taube Herzbein, p. 29; 
of Yudin, p. 28.) 

The regime of Kozyr-Zyrka lasted up to the 16th of Jan- 


uary. The Cossacks continued to plunder Jewish houses, and 
occasional murders took place. 

The Civil Commissar and the Home Guard 

Rumors of Kozyr-Zyrka's doings reached Zhitomir and the 
commissar of civil (internal) affairs was sent from there. 
This commissar proved a decent man and the Jews reposed 
complete confidence in him. But, as he himself said, he was 
powerless to give them any real help, since Kozyr-Zyrka even 
held up his telegraphic reports to Zhitomir. The one thing in 
which he succeeded was the organization of home guards, about 
which later the Ataman issued a proclamation (see above- 
mentioned proclamation.) But these home guards, consisting 
mainly of Jews, did not constitute a real power. The members 
of the guard were beaten, and one even killed, by the Cossacks. 
(Testimony of Waderman and others, p. 13.) 

Mobilization of Jews for Dirty Work 

On January 15 the Cossacks began early in the morning to 
drive young Jews to the station, to sweep and clean the cars. 
They took mostly young Jews, but did not neglect old ones 
either. On the way the Cossacks robbed them. At the station 
they were compelled to do all kinds of dirty work, even un- 
necessary work. They mocked them, and beat them with whips 
and scourges. They took the better dressed ones to one side 
and took their clothes and shoes away from them. By evening 
almost all had been robbed, one killed, another seriously 
wounded. And while they were at the station, other Cossacks 
plundered their homes in the town. 

Panic Reaches Highest Pitch 

An extremely perturbed state existed in the city. It was felt 
that a new catastrophe was approaching. The Jews were in a 
panic of terror. They decided to die all together. So towards 
evening they began to gather in the synagogue. But the syna- 
gogue could not accommodate all. It became unendurably 
stifling. Many fell in swoons. Some, being unable to endure 
the closeness and the throng, knocked out windows and ran 
away at random. Individual Cossacks got into the synagogue 
and robbed whomever they could. At the same time other 


Cossacks robbed members of the home guard, and, as above 
mentioned, even killed one of them. 

Mass Execution and Departure of Kozyr-Zyrka 

Thus the Jews of the city of Ovruch spent the night of the 
fifteenth of January. On the morning of the sixteenth the 
Cossacks spread about the city the report that the commissar 
of internal affairs, in whom, as was said, the Jews had the 
greatest confidence, was inviting! the representatives of the 
Jewish population to listen to an announcement of great im- 
portance to the Jews, just received from Zhitomir. 

The Jews welcomed this news, believed it, and about fifty or 
more men went to the station. On the way they were sur- 
rounded by mounted Cossacks, who pursued them with whips 
and made them sing maiefis (a Jewish song) and other songs. 
The poor wretches understood that they had fallen into a trap. 
When this extraordinary procession drew near to the station, 
the Cossacks surrounding the Jews began to cut them down 
with sabres and fire at them with revolvers. The Jews scat- 
tered and fled, bullets raining after them. At the same time 
other Cossacks near the station itself, who had prepared an 
ambush for the Jews, opened fire on them with machine guns. 
Thirty-two corpses remained on the spot. Many others were 
wounded; a few escaped. When this hecatomb was finished, 
Kozyr-Zyrka appeared among the Cossacks, who greeted him 
with the words : "Thank the Lord, little father, we shot a lot 
of the Jews." Photograph of three corpses is attached hereto. 
(Testimony of Nemerzel, p. 95; Weinermann, p. 13; Kaplan, 
p. 1-10.) 

In the same night, in view of an attack of the bolsheviks 
from the direction of Kalinkovichi, Kozyr-Zyrka with his crew 
abandoned the town and departed for Korosten. Thus ended 
the regime of Kozyr-Zyrka in the city of Ovruch. 


As a result of this regime as many as 80 Jews were killed 
and as many as 1,200 houses plundered. Not more than ten 
or fifteen homes were, by accident, left unharmed. In the 
given case the pogrom took place under the slogan: "Kill 
the Jews because they are bolsheviks." But the attitude of the 
masses in Ukraine towards the Jews is such that any other 


slogan would suit as well for a pogrom. The pogrom came near 
levelling all the Jews in Ovruch in respect to property; almost 
all became comrades in beggary. The losses must be reckoned 
at a hundred million, at the present rate of exchange per- 
haps in milliards. 

Local Committee of Assistance to Pogrom Victims 

In Ovruch a committee of assistance for pogrom victims was 
formed, which is working very effectively. But the help it 
gives, of course, is infinitesimal in comparison with what is 
needed. For Ovruch help is needed on the very largest scale, 
on a national scale. Regarding the character of the assistance 
given by this committee, as also regarding the movements of 
money in general, a report has been prepared by S. S. Kahan, 
who traveled with me to Ovruch. 

Soviet Commission for the Investigation of Pogroms 

In Ovruch we found the Soviet Commission for the investi- 
gation of pogroms, which had come from the city of Mozyr on 
orders of the late Sverdlov, president of the all-Russian Cen- 
tral Committee of Soviets. The commission upon its arrival 
issued a proclamation, a copy of which is attached hereto. 
Unfortunately the activities of this commission will not give 
the proper results, since for comprehensible reasons the Jews 
are afraid to give the names of persons connected with the 
pogroms, even when they know them. As a result some persons, 
known accomplices of the pogromists, are enjoying liberty, and 
some of them actually are in the service of the local Soviet 
regime. We came in contact with this commission and learned 
from its members that Sverdlov promised to appropriate almost 
three million rubles for the pogrom victims. It is hard to say 
how genuine this promise is, but it is indubitable that even such 
a sum would amount to little for the restoration of what was 
destroyed in that city. 

Pogrom in Korosten* 

The pogrom in Korosten began with robberies and murders 
of Jews at the station. Afterwards the pogrom spread through 
the town. The homes which chanced to be nearest to the Podol- 

* Cf . below, pp. 365 ff. 


sky station suffered most. In one household, consisting of nine 
people, the pogromists manifested exceptional barbarity. They 
began by violating three daughters of the house. Since the 
young women showed superhuman resistance, they were all 
mutilated and mangled. Even now they are still suffering, with 
broken arms. They killed the old grandmother, who tried to 
protect her granddaughters, after first tearing out her tongue 
and cutting off her nose. In this house they also killed two 
men and a little girl. The other members of the family were 
mutilated. One man died later of the wounds he received. 
The house was plundered. 

There were murders also in other houses. Ten people in all 
were killed in the town. I cannot refrain from speaking of the 
following very characteristic incident. 

In one house, whose owners hid themselves, only one old 
Jewess remained. The pogromists came into the house and 
demanded to be fed. The old woman received them kindly 
and fed them abundantly. They ate, thanked her for the 
hospitality, and went away, without touching anything in the 
house. After their departure a seriously wounded Jew ran 
into the house and implored her help. The old woman 
rushed for help. It was dark, and, without knowing it, the old 
woman happened upon the same pogromists who had been 
in her home. They asked her where she was hurrying, and she 
explained. Then the pogromists returned to her home, and 
one of them, rolling up his sleeves, washed his hands, and, in 
. perfectly correct fashion, bound up the Jew's wound. When 
they were gone, the Jew told the old woman that they were the 
same pogromists who had wounded him. 

I arrived at Korosten on March 12. About two days before 
a fresh company of the Red Army had come to Korosten. On 
the thirteenth one of them went into the store of a Jewish 
woman and took about twenty pounds of sugar, without paying. 
The Jewess ran out on the street and raised an outcry. An offi- 
cer passing by stopped the Red soldier, took the sugar away from 
him, and, striking him in the face, placed him under arrest. His 
comrades of the same company took his part, and demanded of 
the commandant that their comrade be freed, and the officer 
handed over to them. The soldier was freed, but they were 
refused the surrender of the officer. Then they began to hold 
meetings, and at 8 P.M. opened an incessant fire into the air 
from rifles and shotguns. This firing was the signal for the 
beginning of a Jewish pogrom. The pogrom began. One Jew, 
the cantor of the synagogue, was killed. The pogrom stopped, 


owing to an unexpected cannonade on the part of the Petlurists, 
who began to attack Korosten. 

I did not succeed in collecting testimony either about this 
pogrom, or about the one preceding it, since on, the next day I 
was compelled to leave the town under the incessant roar of 


Proskurov has the aspect of a very lively town, in the gov- 
ernment of Podolia. Its population amounts to 50,000, of which 
nearly 25,000 are Jews. Its democratic municipal council con- 
sisted of 50 members ; 26 Christians and 24 Jews. Of the Jewish 
members 18 ran on Jewish tickets, the others on general socialist 
tickets. At the head of the council in Proskurov, as almost 
everywhere in Podolia and Volhynia, were Poles. The mayor 
was a Pole, Sikora, and the president of the municipal council 
was a Pole, Dr. Stavinsky. 

In administrative matters Proskurov was governed by the 
military commandant Kiverchuk and the commissar Taranovich. 
The former was in the military service even under the tsar, but 
the latter was a former schoolteacher. The town was defended 
by militia, which was primarily subordinate to the commandant. 
The municipal government, not wholly trusting the militia, 
organized a guard of its own, called the "ward-guard." At the 
head of this guard stood a Central Bureau, having as its presi- 
dent the Christian Rudnitzky and as vice-president the Jew 
Schenkmann. Since the municipal guard consisted mainly of 
Jews, it did not at all enjoy the favor of the commandant 
Kiverchuk, and he made all sorts of difficulties for it. 

Even under the tsar there were on hand in Proskurov not 
only all the legal parties, but also the illegal ones. It goes with- 
out saying that social-political life in Proskurov was greatly 
enlivened after the fall of tsarism. Under the Hetman the 
representatives of the socialist parties in Proskurov, and espe- 
cially the bolsheviks, were repeatedly subjected to repressive 
measures. With the fall of the Hetman and the accession of 
Petlura's regime, the bolshevik units in Proskurov continued to 
exist, but illegally. But, as a whole, all the socialist groups in 
Proskurov, not excluding even the bolsheviki, formed a common 
front, headed by the Bund member Joffe. 


About three weeks before the Proskurov massacre, the follow- 
ing event took place. It proved fatal for Proskurov. 

Convention of Bolsheviki in Vinnitza 

A convention of the bolsheviki of the government of Podolia 
took place in Vinnitza, Petlura's own capital. It lasted two 
days and its sessions went off without interference, though it 
carried resolutions for the raising of a bolshevik revolt 
throughout the government of Podolia, naming February 
15 as the day of the uprising. The circumstance that this 
convention was not interfered with caused some persons to 
assert that it was summoned with the knowledge of the Petlura 
regime, with provocatory intent. But unprejudiced investiga- 
tions lead to the conclusion that there was no provocation in 
the case, and that the convention went off all right, owing to 
the poor state of organization, and consequently deficient in- 
formation, of the Petlura regime. It is pointed out that the 
bolshevist uprising took place only in Proskurov, whereas in 
other places in the government of Podolia, even at the station 
Zhmerinka, where there are nearly 7,000 railroad workers, no at- 
tempts were made at an uprising. In this respect also reasons are 
seen for believing that there was no revolt in the other places, 
because at the head of the bolshevist organizations in those 
places were more intelligent people, who saw that the moment 
was not suitable for a revolt. 

In Proskurov, on the other hand, the heads of the bolshevist 
units were too young and heedless. But, besides, there was one 
material circumstance which prompted the bolsheviki of Prosku- 
rov to begin their uprising. In Proskurov were quartered two 
regiments, the 15th Bielgorod and the 8th Podolia, which were 
definitely bolshevik in tendency. 

Appearance of the Ataman Semosenko at Proskurov 

Some ten days before the pogrom in Proskurov, there ap- 
peared a brigade of "beyond-the-rapids" ' (Zaporozhsky) Cos- 
sacks of the Ukrainian republican army, commanded in the name 
of the head Ataman Petlura by the Ataman Semosenko. With 
this brigade appeared also the 3rd Gaidamak regiment. Both 
brigade and regiment, according to Semosenko's announcement, 


had come from the front for a rest and to perform garrison 
duty in Proskurov. On February 6 Semosenko sent to the 
printers a proclamation in which he announced that he was 
assuming the duties of garrison-commander, and in that capacity 
forbade any unauthorized meetings and gatherings in the city. 
He warned that any agitation against the existing regime 
would be punished according to the laws of wartime. All 
instigations to a pogrom were also forbidden, and anyone 
caught in the act of instigating one was to be shot on the 

He also sent word to the municipal council that he 
had assumed the duties of commandant of the garri- 
son, that he intended to prosecute every disturber of order, 
and at the same time informed them that at one of the stations 
he had had a Cossack officer shot who had attempted to loot. 
The vice-president of the Central Bureau of the ward-guard, 
Schenkmann, heard about this communication, and set off to 
Semosenko, to make his personal acquaintance. Semosenko re- 
ceived him cordially, promised to supply the guard with muni- 
tions, and to co-operate in every way to prevent pogroms. This 
conversation with Schenkmann, and also the fact that Semo- 
senko had sent the above-mentioned proclamation to be set up 
in type, became known to certain agents of the municipal inde- 
pendent government, and they, according to the words of Dr. 
Stavinsky, president of the municipal council, went to the com- 
mandant Kiverchuk, to make inquiries as to how much authority 
Semosenko had and who had given it to him. Kiverchuk an- 
swered that he knew nothing about it, and took steps to see 
that the proclamation, already set up in the printer's office, should 
not be published. 

It must be observed that with the appearance in the city of 
the 3rd Gaidamak regiment a perturbed tension arose among 
the Jews. This regiment conducted itself in a ' challenging 
manner, and it was definitely said of it that it had a past record 
for pogroms. No one in the city knew that a bolshevik uprising 
was being planned. Only two days before February 15 the 
commander of the militia, Kara-Zheliazkov, informed Joffe that 
he had heard that a revolution was being planned in Proskurov 
and that it was definitely alleged in the commandant's head- 
quarters that a future bolshevist regime, with Joffe at its head, 
was already named. 

Joffe, disquieted, summoned the representatives of the social- 
ist parties, among them the bolsheviks. Two representatives of 
the communist party who appeared at this meeting stated that 


an uprising really was being planned and that the new govern- 
ment was being formed. The representatives of the other 
groups protested and pointed out that the uprising would end 
in failure and bring the Jews to complete destruction. They 
replied that the uprising would take place simultaneously in 
the whole government of Podolia and that a part of the garrison 
in Proskurov would be on the side of the rebels, and that six- 
teen villages were ready to come to their aid. They did not 
give information as to when the uprising would take place. 
(See testimony of Joffe, pp. 84-87 and 92-99.) 

Beginning of the Bolshevik Uprising 

On the evening of Friday, February 14, there appeared in 
the Central Bureau of the ward guards two young men of the 
bolshevist faction, who declared that a bolshevist uprising was 
scheduled for midnight, and asked the president, Rudnitsky, and 
his assistant Schenkmann, what position the ward guards would 
take in reference to it. The reply was that the ward guards, by 
their very nature, were a non-partisan organization, having for 
their purpose only the protection of the inhabitants, and that in 
the assumed circumstances they would be absolutely neutral. 
At the same time Schenkmann pointed out the inopportuneness 
of the uprising and the fact that it would certainly lead to a 
Jewish pogrom. But he also was answered that the rising would 
affect the entire government and that its favorable outcome was 
assured. Later another member of the communist organization 
appeared, who declared that by order of the revolutionary 
committee, which was being organized, he was appointed com- 
missar of the bureau of the ward guards, and that Schenkmann 
was appointed by them to maintain relations with the bolshe- 
vist staff, which was already being organized. He gave Schenk- 
mann the password by which the latter could get into the 
headquarters. According to Schenkmann's testimony he and 
Rudnitsky collected all the individual members of the guard 
and informed them that full freedom of action was allowed 
them, and called upon them to remove then and there all external 
evidences of membership in the ward guards. This was done. 
At the same time all who were questioned declared that they 
would take no part in the political uprising. With the password 
he had received Schenkmann went to the bolshevist revolutionary 
committee, and then to the general staff. Having become con- 
vinced that the bolsheviks' business was not going right and 
that the proposed uprising would turn out, in his words, a bluff, 
he approached the most responsible bolshevik and urged the 


inopportuneness of the uprising. The latter in his turn stated 
that the uprising had been postponed from 12 at night to 6 
A.M., and said he would see to it that it was further postponed 
to a more favorable occasion. In truth, when Schenkmann, after 
this conversation, returned to the Central Bureau, the commis- 
sar of the bolshevik revolutionary committee, who had been left 
there, told him that he had received a telephone message that 
the uprising was postponed. Schenkmann then went around 
the city to make sure that the guards were in their places. And 
when he returned again to the bureau, the same commissar in- 
formed him that a new change had been made and that the 
uprising was appointed for after 6 A.M.; the signal would be 
given by shots. 

Shots were, in fact, fired at a quarter to seven in the morn- 
ing, and the uprising began. The bolsheviks first seized the 
post and telegraph office, and arrested commandant Kiverchuk, 
considering him, not without reason, a dangerous black-hun- 
dreder and pogromist. In one of the apartments of the Trach- 
tenberg house on Alexandrovskaya street in the very center of 
town, they opened their headquarters. Some of them went to 
the barracks of the 15th Bielgorod and the 8th Podolia regi- 
ments. There they awakened the sleeping soldiers and informed 
them that the uprising had begun and that the organs of the 
bolshevist regime were already being formed. They proposed 
to the soldiers to sally out against Petlura's soldiers, who were 
concentrated in cars at the station. When the soldiers pointed 
out that they had no machine guns, they were told that the 
peasants had them and were already nearing the city to take 
part in the uprising. Then the bolshevistically inclined soldiers 
arrested their officers, and also the soldiers who were against 
the uprising. They seized the regimental weapons and started 
in the direction of the station. There they opened fire on the 
cars in which were the Gaidamaks and other Cossacks. But 
when the latter came out of their cars and the attacking soldiers 
saw how numerous they were, they retreated to their barracks. 
The Cossacks pursued them and began to fire on the barracks. 
Then the soldiers withdrew to Felshtin and Yarmolintsy, 
whither a part of them had previously been sent to arouse the 
bolshevist revolt; and afterwards they dispersed to various 
places and thus escaped pursuit. 

After the withdrawal of the soldiers it was clear that the 
revolt had failed. The shooting which took place early in the 
morning had aroused the councilmen of the city, and they began 
to assemble in the Town Hall. Several times the mayor and 


the president of the council went to the commandant's head- 
quarters, but no information was given them there. At last 
they saw Kiverchuk driving up to headquarters, and learned 
from him that he had been arrested. When they asked who had 
arrested him, he replied, "The Jews, members of the ward 
guard." He added that his own orderly had joined them, and 
that he had just shot the orderly with his own hands. 

End of Bolshevist Uprising 

According to the testimony of witness Marantz (p. 17-32) he, 
on Saturday morning, dressed as a soldier, came down Alex- 
androvskaya street to the Trachtenberg house, which, as he 
learned afterwards, was the bolshevist headquarters. He noticed 
many workmen about the house, dressed as soldiers. One of them 
asked him to join them. He 'then went over to the other side 
of the sidewalk. At this time he noticed that commandant 
Kiverchuk's hundred Cossacks, with his assistant Novitsky 
at the head, was riding horseback from the station in the direc- 
tion of the Trachtenberg house. He then turned to a Russian 
workman, an acquaintance, who was standing there, and asked 
what Novitsky's appearance meant. The other replied: "No- 
vitsky is with us, and is at the head of the uprising." But he 
did not have time to finish the sentence when this same Novit- 
sky gave the loud command: "Load your guns." Shortly a 
volley rang out. As was afterwards discovered, it killed a young 
woman, daughter of the Trachtenberg who owned the house, 
who was in her own room. The bolsheviks surrounding the 
Trachtenberg house fled, and the revolt was definitely ended. 
Other volleys were heard in various parts of the city, but 
apparently with blank cartridges. The Gaidamak soldiers were 
again concentrated at the station. Arrests took place in town, 
while at the station tables were laid to entertain the Gaidamaks. 
The Ataman Semosenko, this time in full accord with Kiverchuk, 
took up the duties of garrison commandant. He celebrated 
his assumption of the post by a luxurious entertainment of the 
Gaidamaks, and after dinner furnished them vodka and cognac. 
At the end of the banquet he delivered a speech to the Gaida- 
maks, in which he described the serious situation of Ukraine, 
and the efforts they had put forth upon the field of battle, and 
added that the most dangerous enemies of the Ukrainian people 
and the Cossacks were the Jews, whom it was necessary to ex- 
tirpate in order to save Ukraine and themselves. He demanded 
of the Cossacks an oath that they would fulfil their sacred duty 
and extirpate the Jewish population; but at the same time they 


were also required to swear that they would not loot Jewish 
property. The Cossacks were led to the colors and took oath 
that they would massacre but not loot. When an under-officer 
proposed, instead of the massacre, to levy a contribution on 
the Jews, Semosenko threatened to shoot him. One captain 
was also found who declared that he would not let his com- 
pany kill unarmed people. This captain, who had important 
connections in Petlura's government, was sent out of town with 
his company. The other Cossacks drew up in line of march, 
with music in the van and sanitary corps behind, and marched 
into the city along Alexandrovskaya street, where they broke up 
into separate groups and scattered over the side streets, which 
were thickly populated with Jews. (See v. II, p. 14, testimony 
of Baliner.) 

The Massacre 

The mass of the Jews had hardly heard of the bolshevist revolt 
which had occurred. Accustomed in recent times to all kinds 
of firing, they paid no particular attention to the shots which 
were heard that morning. It was Saturday and the orthodox 
Jews had gone early to the synagogue, where they prayed, and 
then, returning home, sat down to the Sabbath dinner. Many, 
according to established custom, after the Sabbath dinner, had 
lain down to sleep. 

The Cossacks scattered over the Jewish streets in groups of 
five to fifteen, and with perfectly calm faces entered the houses, 
took their sabres, and began to cut down all the Jews in the 
houses, without distinction of age or sex. They killed old men, 
women, and even nursing babies. They not only cut them 
down with the sword, but also thrust them through with bayo- 
nets. They resorted to firing only in case individuals succeeded 
in breaking forth into the street. Then bullets were sent after 
them. When news of the beginning of the massacre spread 
among the Jews, they began to hide in attics and cellars, but the 
Cossacks dragged them down from the attics and killed them. 
Into the cellars they threw hand grenades. 

According to the testimony of the above-mentioned Schenk- 
mann the Cossacks killed his younger brother on the street 
near the house, and then ran into the house and split the skull 
of his mother. The other members of the family hid under beds, 
but when his little brother saw his mother's death he crept out 
from under the bed to kiss her body. The Cossacks started to 
cut down the boy. Then the old father could endure it no longer 


and also came out from under the bed, and one of the Cossacks 
killed him with two shots. Then they went to the beds and 
started thrusting at those who lay under them. He himself 
happened not to be hurt. 

According to the witness Marantz, fifteen people were killed 
and four seriously wounded in the house of his friend Auerbach. 
When he applied to his Christian neighbors to help him bind 
up the wounded, only one Christian woman consented to help; 
the others refused. 

The witness Griinfeld (v. I, p. 29) says that from the window 
of her dwelling she saw a gang of about 20 Gaidamaks stop 
at the opposite house, Khaselev's; four of them left the others 
and went into the Schiffmann house, where they remained a 
very short time, and on coming out began to clean their bloody 
sabres in the snow. In that house it turned out that eight 
people were killed. Another part of this gang went into the inn 
"France," which was next door ; out of it ran the old proprietor, 
pursued by the Gaidamaks, and after them ran the old man's 
children begging for mercy. 

According to the witness Spiegel (v. I, p. 76) he and his 
brother were visiting the Potekha family, when he heard that 
there was a massacre going on in town. Disturbed for the fate 
of his old mother, he went home, and, by roundabout ways, con- 
ducted the old woman to the house of Polish acquaintances. 
But they absolutely refused to take them in, saying they were 
afraid for their own fate. When he returned to the Potekha 
house, Christians who were standing around it (so-called petty 
bourgeois) warned him not to enter, as a massacre was go- 
ing on inside. But, disturbed about his brother, he never- 
theless went in and found that the whole Potekha family and 
all who had been in the house were cut down, among them his 
brother. The old mother was so hacked that he could recognize 
her only by her figure. Near her lay the body of her son, 
hacked with- sabre-cuts and thrust through with bayonets. In 
the same manner her oldest daughter had been killed. The 
youngest daughter was also killed, and the middle one was lying 
severely wounded. A woman relative visiting them was also 
severely wounded. In the yard were two brothers Bressler and 
their aged mother. His brother was severely wounded, but still 
breathing, and died in his arms. "Out of 'curiosity Christian 
neighbors came into the house, and I asked them to help me 
lay the wounded in beds, but they refused. Only one neighbor 
named Sikora rendered me some help. Two of the wounded 
died; the rest recovered, but remained cripples." 


In the house of Wolfzup (v. II, p. 16) all the family were 
killed except one young woman who remained alive with 2B 
wounds. The murderers came to the house with machine guns 
and a sanitary detachment. On the command "Haiti" some 
spread themselves out cor don- fashion, and some began right 
there to sharpen their weapons. Then the command "Get to 
work!" was given, and the Cossacks dispersed among the 
neighboring houses and began the massacre. In the house of 
Semmelman (p. 13) 21 were killed and two wounded. The 
Gaidamaks came to the house in regular order with two 
machine guns. There were with them a sister of mercy and a 
man with a red-cross band, who proved later to be Skornik, in 
command of a sanitary detachment. In the house of Blechman 
(p. 15) six were killed; one by a stroke on the head which split 
his skull into two parts. A girl was wounded in the hind part 
of her body, for which purpose her dress was raised. At the 
house of Korchak (p. 9, v. II) eight men arrived and first of 
all smashed the windows to bits. Five entered the house, three 
staying in the street. Those who entered seized old Korchak 
by the beard and dragged him to the kitchen window, from 
which they threw him out to those who were standing in the 
street. These killed him. Then the men inside killed the aged 
mother and two daughters. A young woman visitor they dragged 
by the hair into another room, then threw her out into the street, 
where she was killed barbarously. Then they returned into the 
house and inflicted several serious wounds on a 13-year-old 
boy, who afterwards became totally deaf. They inflicted nine 
wounds in the abdomen and side upon the oldest brother, placed 
him upon the dead body of his mother, inflicted two more 
wounds, and said: "Now we have finished with them." 

In the house of Zazul (p. 16) they killed a daughter after 
torturing her a long time. A boy in the house received several 
wounds and pretended to be dead. The mother offered the mur- 
derers money, but they replied: "We have come only for your 
lives." According to the witness Glusmann (v. II, p. 17) he 
was in the street on Saturday, February 15, but militiamen ad- 
vised him to go home. Arriving at home, he found 16 neigh- 
bors in his dwelling. From the window they saw a detach- 
ment of Gaidamaks, armed from head to foot, approaching the 
house in complete order. He tried to urge his wife and daugh- 
ters to hide, fearing for their honor. But they refused to hide 
without him. The Gaidamaks drove them all out in the yard, 
and then one went to the gate and shouted to those who re- 
mained there : "Come here, here are a lot of Jews," The Gaida- 


maks soon surrounded them all. Glusmann found himself near 
the door leading to the cellar, and his family was beside him. 
He was struck twice with a bayonet and fell into the cellar; 
this saved him. His wife, who stood above, was killed. He 
also observed that a young wounded man asked to be shot. A 
Gaidamak shot at him twice. Then another said to him : "Why 
are you shooting? Didn't the Ataman say to cut them down, 
but not to shoot them?" The other answered: "I know, but 
what can I do? He asks me himself." 

The massacre lasted from two to five in the afternoon. It 
probably would have lasted till late at night, but commissar 
Taranovich, who was not initiated into all the plans of Semo- 
senko and Kiverchuk, was horrified at the sight of the bloody 
carnival enacted in the town. He flew to Semosenko and began 
urgently to request him to stop the massacre, but the other paid 
no attention to his words. Taranovich went to the telegraph 
office and over a direct wire informed the head of the govern- 
ment, Kamentsy, of what was happening in Proskurov. From 
there he learned that Konovalov, the commandant of the front, 
was on the spot, and Taranovich, also by direct wire, called the 
latter and informed him of what was going on. Konovalov 
at once telegraphed to Semosenko an order to put a stop to the 
massacre at once. Taranovich brought this order to Semosenko, 
who then said: "All right, for to-day we've had enough killing." 
By the signal of a horn the Gaidamaks were notified of the 
termination of their activities. The Gaidamaks then gathered 
at a place previously agreed upon and from there went in regu- 
lar line of march, with songs, to the place of their bivouac at 
the station. The facts about what commissar Taranovich did 
were communicated by the witness Verkhola (p. 44-65), and 
are also established in the investigation conducted by the bolshe- 
vist regime regarding the acts of Taranovich. I have person- 
ally seen the material of this investigation. 

We must be just to the Gaidamaks; they honestly fulfilled 
their oath; they cut down without mercy, but did not loot. In 
some houses they were offered money, and tore the money to 
bits. If there were individual cases of looting, they were excep- 
tional. But, together with the Gaidamaks, some other Cossacks 
joined in massacring the Jews mainly from Kiverchuk's hun- 
dred, and also militiamen. These, who were bound by no oath, 
not only slew, but also looted. But for the most part the 
robberies took place in the night after the massacre. They 
were not lootings in the strict sense of the words, but spiriting 
away of property which had been left, so to speak, ownerless, 


in consequence of the wholesale slaughter of families. In the 
stealing of this property an active part was taken by the criminal 
element, which had been released from prison, according to all 
information, by order of Kiverchuk, who did this apparently 
with the object of blaming what happened on them, in case of 
necessity. By the same Kiverchuk's orders the militia was dis- 
armed, and only those militiamen remained armed who showed 
themselves accomplices of the Gaidamaks. 

By the irony of fate, brightly lighted windows testified to the 
fact that all in the house were massacred. Namely: in Prosku- 
rov all houses are lighted by electricity, which is very moderate 
in price there. Now the orthodox Jews, who are the majority 
in Proskurov, true to their law, do not put out the fires and do 
not shut off the electric lights on Saturday, or rather on the 
night from Friday to Saturday. So the electricity burns till 
morning, when it goes out with the cutting off of the current, 
but then in the evening of Saturday, when the current is turned 
on, it lights of itself. After the awful Saturday, February 15, 
the Jews lighted no lights. But all the more brightly burned 
the light in the windows of the houses where Jewish families 
had been totally wiped out. And the plunderers went for those 
lights. There were, of course, accidents, and they entered some 
Christian houses. This explains the isolated occurrences of at- 
tacks on Christian homes during the night Saturday to Sunday, 
of which the witnesses Verkhola and Dr. Stavinsky made men- 
tion in their testimony (p. 70-75). 

The- witness Verkhola and Dr. Stavinsky, president of the 
municipal council, state that they did not hear of the massacre 
that had taken place until late in the evening. They went 
through the city on foot, and saw many corpses lying around. 
They also entered lighted dwellings in which murdered people 
were lying. Intending to establish a base for treating the 
wounded, they went to several drug stores, but there they met 
the above-named Dr. Skornik, who was requisitioning all bandag- 
ing material for the use of the Cossacks, alleging that there 
were many wounded among them, brought from the front. 
Upon investigation that was found totally untrue. 

This Dr. Skornik, with a sister of mercy and two sanitary- 
corps members, took an active part in the massacre. Dr. Skornik 
especially distinguished himself. When another sister of mercy, 
outraged by his behavior, cried out to him: "What are you 
doing? You are wearing the Red Cross band!" he tore off the 
band and threw it to her, and continued killing. 

According to the testimony of three gymnasium-students, who 


had been drafted in Yelisavetgrad by the Gaidamaks to serve in 
the sanitary corps, Skornik, when he returned to his car after 
the massacre, boasted that in one house they met such a beauti- 
ful girl that not a single Gaidamak could make up his mind to 
kill her; then he thrust her through with his own hand. Ac- 
cording to the testimony of witnesses, a body of a young woman 
of extraordinary beauty, thrust through, was in fact found 
among the corpses at the cemetery. Since the whole personnel 
of Dr. Skornik's sanitary corps fell ill of typhus, no one of the 
corps succeeded in leaving when the Petlurists evacuated the 
town. They all came into the hands of the bolshevik forces, and, 
after an investigation, those found guilty were sent to Odessa 
without a trial. I have seen the data of the investigation and 
must state that Dr. Skornik was unquestionably proved guilty 
of active participation in the massacre. It was established, 
moreover, that he was a morphine addict; and in general he 
produced a strange impression on all. (See testimony of Dr. 
Stavinsky, p. 88-90.) 

On the next morning occasional murders of Jews continued, 
both on the streets and in the houses. The Jews remained in 
hiding and very few ventured out on the streets. According to 
the witness, Tzatzkis (35-40), he, on Sunday morning, dressed 
himself in peasant's garb, went to Alexandrovskaya street, and 
approached a group of Gaidamaks, who were talking with 
townspeople. He heard the Gaidamaks say that up to two 
o'clock they would be killing Jews individually, but after two 
o'clock they would repeat the general slaughter of yesterday. 

Dr. Stavinsky, in the capacity of president of the municipal 
council, together with the mayor and other persons, went to the 
commandant's headquarters and begged that the massacre be 
stopped. The witness Verkhola also appeared there and par- 
ticularly insisted upon it. Right there in the headquarters it was 
decided to call the municipal council, and Semosenko and Kiver- 
chuk promised to attend its session. When Verkhola and Stav- 
insky went to the council, they were compelled on the way to 
witness individual instances of murder and wounding of Jews. 
One was shot before their eyes at the Town Hall itself, 

Very few members appeared at the Council meeting, and only 
one Jew, Raigorodsky; the other Jews had to turn back, because 
attacks were made upon them. (See testimony of Marantz.) 
The council opened its session immediately upon the appearance 
of Semosenko and Kiverchuk. Dr. Stavinsky opened the session 
and in a few words described the situation which had arisen. 
Semosenko then spoke and declared that what ha'd happened had 


been called forth exclusively by the Jews, who, being ond and 
all bolsheviks, had plotted to murder the Gaidamaks and other 
Cossacks. He would continue to act in the same way in the 
future, since he considered it his sacred duty. Kiverchuk ex- 
pressed himself in the same spirit. 

Then Verkhola spoke. I consider it necessary to say a few 
words about the personality of Verkhola. Verkhola sprang from 
the people and was self-educated. He graduated from a School 
of Art, taught in folk-schools, and attended lectures at the 
university. In his politics he is a Social Democrat and Ukrain- 
ian nationalist. Under the first Rada he was elected to the 
municipal council, and also to the Zemstvo board. Twice he ful- 
filled the duties of commissar of the city of Proskurov. When 
the revolution in favor of the Hetman took place, he considered 
the Hetman's regime reactionary and believed it impossible per- 
sonally to continue his social and administrative work. He re- 
signed from all his offices and retired to private life. When 
the peasant uprisings against the Hetman began, the Austrian 
authorities arrested Verkhola and accused him of organizing 
these uprisings. He was taken to Tarnopol, where he remained 
two months in prison. But then, while he was being taken into 
court, he succeeded in escaping; and all the rest of the time 
he was in hiding. He returned to Proskurov only on February 
13, two days before the massacre. It was immediately proposed 
to him that he withdraw his resignation as member of the coun- 
cil,, and he consented. When the massacre began, Verkhola 
devoted himself to incessant efforts to put a stop to the occur- 
rences taking place. 

Speaking after Semosenko and Kiverchuk, he delivered a long 
speech to the Council, in which he declared that the events in 
Proskurov were a disgrace to Ukraine. Speaking of the past 
services of the Cossacks he declared that in the present case 
Semosenko had clothed thugs in the garb of Cossacks and be- 
come their Ataman. Turning to Semosenko he said: "You are 
fighting bolsheviks ; but were those old men and children bolshe- 
viks, whom your Gaidamaks cut down? You assert that only 
Jews produce bolsheviks; but do you not know that there are 
bolsheviks among other nations, too, including the Ukrainians?" 
He urged Semosenko, for the sake of Ukraine's honor, to put an 
immediate stop to the horrors taking place. 

After Verkhola Raigorodsky expressed himself in a few 
words, in the name of the Jews entirely agreeing with Verkhola's 

Semosenko replied to Verkhola in the same words he had 


used in his previous speech. He said he was not fighting old 
men, women and children, but only bolsheviks. Looking straight 
at Verkhola, he said that he did not doubt it was true, unfor- 
tunately, that there were bolsheviks even among the Ukrainians, 
but that he would not spare them either. He would consent to 
issue an order to stop what was going on, on condition that the 
bodies of the dead should immediately be committed to the 
earth. He also considered it necessary to observe to the 
municipal council that, knowing of the impending bolshevist 
uprising, it had not warned him of it. Dr. Stavinsky and the 
members of the council denied this charge. 

Verkhola again spoke, thanking Semosenko for his readiness 
to issue orders stopping these horrors, but insisted that he 
order back the Cossacks who had been sent to Felshtin and 
other places to perpetrate Jewish massacres there. To this 
Semosenko replied that in Felshtin also a similar bolshevist 
revolt had taken place, just as in Proskurov, and that it must 
have the same consequences as here. However, after long in- 
sistence, Semosenko consented to recall the Cossacks who had 
been sent out. 

In the same session of the Council, in the presence of Semo- 
senko and Kiverchuk, it was voted that the guard of the city 
should be entrusted to the aviation corps, with the commander 
of which Verkhola had succeeded in speaking previously. Verk- 
hola himself was appointed supervisor of this guard. Losing no 
time, he sent the following proclamation to a printing shop to 
be printed: "On the Ataman's orders and with his consent, 
expressed in the council, the massacre of the peaceful population 
is terminated. The Cossacks are ordered out of town. The 
guard of the city is entrusted to the aviation corps, and the 
council guarantees complete security to the inhabitants. Normal 
conditions of life should be re-established. Order has been 
issued to shoot all who are caught in the act of looting, and 
likewise Cossacks who appear in the city after 6 P.M." When 
this order was set up, Verkhola took the proof of it to the 
commandant's to get permission to have it pasted up around 
town. But there he was arrested, because Semosenko and 
Kiverchuk found that he had no right to issue such a procla- 
mation, which furthermore was couched in improper language. 
By Semosenko's orders Verkhola was to be taken to the station 
for trial which, in reality, meant to be shot. But the mayor 
Sikora and members of the Ukrainian national union, who 
came to the commandant's and found out about what had 
happened, declared to Semosenko and Kiverchuk that to deal 


so with Verkhola would call forth violent revenge from many 
Ukrainian organizations, which knew him well. Finally Semo- 
senko ordered an investigation of Verkhola, and he was im- 
mediately released. 

Instead of the proclamation which Verkhola intended to 
issue, Semosenko issued an order in which he declared Prosku- 
rov and the canton under martial law, and forbade any move- 
ment in the streets after 7 P.M. In this order he writes, among 
other things: "I warn the population to stop anarchistic revolts, 
since I have the power to suppress them. I call the atten- 
tion of the Jews in particular to this. You are a people 
hated by all nations. And yet you bring such confusion among 
the baptized. Do you really not want to live? Are you not 
sorry for your own people? As long as no one bothers you, be 
quiet. Such a miserable nation, and yet they cause so much 
disturbance among a poor people." Further on in the same 
order Semosenko demands that all shops, stores, and places of 
business should at once begin to function. He also orders that 
in three days' time all shop-signs be translated into Ukrainian, 
"that I may not see a single Muscovite sign." The signs must 
be inscribed in good style; pasting on of letters is strictly for- 
bidden. Persons guilty in this regard will be delivered over 
to courtmartial. 

On the same day another proclamation was issued, in which 
Semosenko writes that "In the night of the 14th of February, 
some unknown, dishonorable, conscienceless persons raised an 
insurrection against the existing regime. According to infor- 
mation at hand, these persons belonged to the Jewish nation, 
and intended to take the power into their own hands, in order 
to produce confusion in the affairs of state and to bring Ukraine, 
which has suffered so much, to anarchy and disorder. Most 
decisive measures were taken to suppress the revolt. It is 
possible that among the victims were many innocent persons, 
since nothing can be done without mistakes. But their blood 
must fall as a curse upon those who showed themselves provo- 
cators and adventurists." On the next day another proclamation 
was issued, in which Semosenko writes that the sad fact is 
established that at the time of the bolshevist uprising of the 
fourteenth and fifteenth of February the local garrison supported 
the bolsheviki ; that the soldiers of that garrison went over openly 
to their side. Therefore he declares the 15th Bielgorod regi- 
ment and the 8th Podolia disbanded. For -the purpose of taking 
from them their property and documents he appoints repre- 
sentatives of the 3rd Gaidamak regiment and a commission from 


the "beyond-the-rapids" brigade. (All these proclamations pub- 
lished; see p. 3.) 

As is evident from Verkhola's testimony, as well as from that 
of other witnesses, the murders continued during the course 
of three days. But after the session of the municipal council, 
mass slaughter was terminated. However, all day Sunday and 
likewise Monday, there were numerous cases of isolated mur- 
ders of Jews, both in houses and on the streets. Massacres of 
Jews also took place in neighboring villages, into which the 
Gaidamaks penetrated either at their own discretion or upon 
invitation of the peasants. The Jews cast about in all direc- 
tions, seeking escape from the situation. Most of all they placed 
their hopes on Verkhola. 

Since commissar Taranovich had long been weary of his 
duties and had been asking to retire, which he had not been 
permitted to do because of the lack of a suitable substitute, 
the public officials, and particularly the Jews, besought Verk- 
hola to assume the duties of commissar. The latter con- 
sented, and he and Taranovich together called up the commissar 
of the government (gubernia) on direct wire. This official knew 
Verkhola well from his previous service, and gladly consented 
to substitute him for Taranovich. Telegraphic orders were im- 
mediately issued naming Verkhola commissar, which, incidentally, 
was extremely displeasing to Semosenko and Kiverchuk. As 
soon as he took up the reins of office, Verkhola issued two 
proclamations, in which he indicated that "any appeal to na- 
tional hatred, and particularly to pogroms, is a disgrace to 
Ukraine and a hindrance to her regeneration." Such appeals 
were always weapons for the reactionaries. Every hostile mani- 
festation on the part of a more powerful nation against a weaker 
shows that that nation cannot assume those forms which are 
based on equality and fraternity. Such behavior only helped the 
enemies of Ukraine, and he expressed the hope that the popu- 
lation would not yield to such provocation. He demanded that 
all agitators inciting to pogroms should be arrested and handed 
over to a field court-martial, (v. III.) In the other proclama- 
tion he demanded that all stolen property be brought to the 
commissariat to be returned to its owners. 

As already stated, it was intended to repeat on Sunday the 
massacre of Saturday. Three Gaidamaks' who appeared Sun- 
day morning at the city headquarters, among other things, de- 
clared, in the presence of Verkhola, that they were granted 
permission to keep killing the Jews for three days. But after 
the Sunday session of the city council, Semosenko really did 


see to terminating the slaughter, and it was not repeated again 
in mass proportions. But the murders of individual Jews, as 
already stated, were repeated on Sunday and Monday. These 
murders were numerous. 

By Semosenko's directions the victims of Saturday's massacre 
were to be buried on Monday. Thus the bodies remained in the 
houses or lay about the streets from Saturday till Monday. 
Many of the bodies were gnawed by swine. 

On Monday, beginning early, numerous peasant's carts, with 
bodies heaped up on them, started for the Hebrew cemetery. 
Bodies kept arriving throughout the day and filled the whole 
cemetery. According to the testimony of the witness, Finkel 
(pp. 1-4), he himself, while in the cemetery, counted more than 
a thousand corpses. Hired peasants dug in the cemetery a 
ditch of enormous proportions, which was to become the common 
grave of the victims of the massacre. In the cemetery, as re- 
ported by the same Finkel, there appeared marauders, who, 
under various pretexts, approached the bodies, handled them 
over, and robbed them. There also appeared relatives of the 
slain, who sought out their corpses and took out of their pockets 
valuables, in many cases very considerable ones ; but very many 
of the corpses proved to have been previously robbed. Women 
were found with fingers, on which there had evidently been 
rings, cut off their hands. The inspector, Dobrovolsky, had 
charge of the burials. He had orders that not a single body 
should remain unburied by night. However, they did not suc- 
ceed in burying all the bodies until four o'clock Tuesday 
morning. It should be added that besides the common grave four 
smaller graves were dug and many buried in them. Some Jews 
succeeded in burying their relatives in separate graves. 

As already stated, individual murders of Jews continued also 
on the following days, both in Proskurov and the vicinity. 
Many were killed on the road to neighboring places, in the 
fields, and woods, and nearby villages and hamlets. Besides 
those Jews who were killed by the Gaidamak horde that was 
turned loose, the authorities themselves arrested many Jews on 
the pretext that they were bolshevists, and afterwards shot them. 
In this regard Kiverchuk's assistant, Kovalevsky, especially dis- 
tinguished himself a son of a local householder, a very corrupt 
and cruel young man. (See testimony of Sarah Hellman, pp. 

Extremely interesting in this connection is the testimony of 
the witness Tzatzkis, who, with ten others, was condemned to 
be shot, but escaped by a sort of miracle. This Tzatzkis, who 


has been mentioned before, disguised in peasants' costume, over- 
heard some Gaidamaks on Sunday morning say to a group of 
Christians that after two o'clock they were going to repeat the 
massacre of the day before. He set off for the house of 
his parents, who lived in Alexandrovskaya street near 
the commandant's house, to warn them of the impend- 
ing massacre. In the house, besides his parents and sisters, 
he found his younger brother, a cousin, and a more distant 
relative. From the window they soon saw five Gaidamaks with 
the commandant's assistant, Kovalevsky, approaching the house. 
This Kovalevsky was well acquainted with his younger brother 
and had even granted him permission to carry a revolver. They 
quickly hid their old father and the women who were in the 
house in the garret, and themselves opened the door to the 
Gaidamaks. Kovalevsky came in and announced that he had 
come to search the house for secret implements and weapons. 
The brother replied that there were no "implements" in the 
house, and that he had a revolver by permission of Kovalevsky 
himself. This revolver, along with the permit, he straightway 
handed over to him. Kovalevsky pretended to search for imple- 
ments under the beds, and then ordered them all to follow him. 
When they pointed out that they could not leave the house and 
that some one had to be left, he, after long entreaties, consented 
to leave their distant relative in the house. Two Gaidamaks 
also remained, while three led them to headquarters and placed 
them in a room where there were already many prisoners, both 
Jews and Christians, suspected of being bolsheviks. All through 
the day many new prisoners kept arriving, and finally Tzatzkis' 
father was brought in. It turned out that the two Gaidamaks 
who had stayed in the house went up into the garret and ar- 
rested his father. By evening there were 32 Christians and 15 
Jews. The prisoners were persecuted in all sorts of ways. A 
certain Pole, a former land-owner, was exposed to especially 
severe persecutions, constant beating with ramrods and other 
tortures. Individual persons were called to be examined, among 
them Tzatzkis' brother. 

The same Kovalevsky did the examining; but it was no 
genuine examination, only an appearance of one, since the 
questions put were wholly trivial. On the next day, about 
5 P.M., all the prisoners were taken out in the street and drawn 
up in rank and file, Christians and Jews separately. A vigorous 
Gaidamak came up to the group of Jews and said triumphantly: 
"Well, you Jews, you won't come back to us any more, we are 
going to send you all into the land committee," which, in the 


language of the Gaidamaks, meant "to the other world." They 
conducted all the prisoners to the station, and continued to 
persecute them on the way, especially that same Pole. At the 
station they were all put in a separate car. In the evening they 
began to call out the Christians in turn. They, it appears, were 
called into a neighboring car, where three tipsy Cossacks ques- 
tioned them about something or other and then took them into 
a third car. Some time passed, and they led five Jews out of 
the car, among them Tzatzkis' brother. When they did not 
return in the course of an hour and nothing was heard about 
them, the remaining Jews understood that they had been taken 
out to be shot. As indicated, they put the Christians, after 
questioning them, in another car, sending only one of them 
back into the car where the Jews remained. About 10 o'clock 
they took all of them, that is, ten Jews and one Russian, out of 
the car on to the bed of the railroad. They took the Jews aside, 
and, first of all, searched them and took away their money. 
Then they arranged them in two rows and led them to a 
river slope about 10 versts from the place where the cars were. 
It was clear that they were being led to be shot. On the way 
the Gaidamak marching beside Tzatzkis felt of his sheepskin 
coat. "Are you looking to see how fine a coat you are going 
to inherit from me?" Tzatzkis asked. "Shut up, you damned 
Jew, or I'll smash you with the butt of my gun I" the Gaidamak 
replied, threatening him with the butt of his gun. His father 
marching in front overheard these words and asked him in 
Hebrew not to quarrel, lest they torture before killing them. At 
last the river-slope was reached. The prisoners had to take off 
their clothes and shoes and remain in nothing but their under- 
clothes. Tzatzkis asked permission to say farewell to his father. 
It was granted. He went up to his father, took him by the 
hand, and together with him began to pronounce the words of 
the prayer before death, mentioning in it the names of his chil- 
dren. Then all were placed in one line with faces to the river, 
and behind them the word was given and three volleys were 
fired. All fell, including himself. The groans and cries of 
the wounded resounded. The Gaidamaks ran up and began to 
finish off those who were groaning. They had to busy them- 
selves a particularly long time with the Russian, who struggled 
with death stubbornly. Finally all was silent. The Cos- 
sacks departed. Tzatzkis began to feel of himself and 
was amazed to find that he was not only alive, but not 
even wounded. Making sure that no one was near, he 
hurried and ran as fast as he could towards the nearest 


village. In one place, crossing a stream, he fell through the ice 
and got up to his knees in water. But he did not feel either 
fatigue or cold. At last he arrived at the village and came to 
the house of a peasant whom he knew, aroused him, and told him 
what had happened. The peasant wept when he heard his 
story, but advised him not to stay in his house, because it was 
near the city. He gave him shoes and clothes, and Tzatzkis 
went on to the next village, from which he succeeded in getting 
to the town of Medzhibozh. 

There were other cases of marvelous escapes. 

In this regard the story of a young man named Halperin 
(pp. 31-34) is very interesting. Four times he found himself 
face to face with death, but each time he escaped. He was a 
pupil in the commercial school, and, before the pogrom, was a 
member of the ward guard. He was dressed in a soldier's cloak 
and cap. On Saturday, after dinner, when bodies of murdered 
people were already lying about the streets, he went to his 
home, which was on the outskirts of the city, in the direction 
of the village of Zarechie. Near his house he met a crowd of 
Gaidamaks, and one of them stopped him and asked whether 
he was a Jew or a Russian. He replied that he was a Russian. 
The other demanded evidence, and he showed him his card as 
a student in the commercial school, in which his creed was not 
stated. The Cossack turned the card over a bit, looked at him 
rather suspiciously, but then said: "Well, go along." When 
other Cossacks then rushed at Halperin, the first shouted to 
them: "Let him go, he's a Russian." Halperin went to his 
house, and found it locked, with a window broken. He did not 
dare enter the house. Only afterwards did he find out that his 
family had hidden and had not been injured. But a rich Jew 
named Blechman, who lived in the same house, was found to 
have been robbed and murdered, with his whole family, con- 
sisting of six persons. Halperin went to the neighboring village 
of Zarechie and visited a Jewish acquaintance named Rosen- 
feld. About 9 P.M. there began a battering at the door, and 
some young peasant lads forced their way into the house; they 
fell on the old man Rosenfeld and killed him. He himself, 
with Rosenfeld's son, fled in the direction of the woods. Being 
unable to run far, he stopped. The young men surrounded him 
and fired at him, but, finding that he was not wounded, they 
decided to take him to the city and hand him over to the Gaida- 
maks. Just then a peasant appeared from the city and be- 
gan to tell of what was going on there. The young men 
stopped to listen to the newcomer, and Halperin succeeded in 


hiding. Then he went towards the village of Grinovtsy. In 
this village lived Jewish acquaintances of his named Bucher, 
but, since it was now very late, he did not venture to go to their 
house, but spent the night in the open fields. Next day he went 
to the house, but there it was learned that the peasants were 
holding a meeting to decide the question of how to deal with 
the Jews living in the village. He then went back to the city, 
but, since things were very unsettled there and he did not find 
his family, he returned to the village again, where he spent the 
night. Monday morning three Gaidamaks appeared and began 
to hunt for Jews. Halperin, with two young men and a girl, 
fled to the woods to hide. After remaining some time in the 
woods, they decided it would be less dangerous to go to town, 
and started for Proskurov. On the way they met three young 
peasants returning from town to the country. One of them had 
a rifle. The fellows stopped them and examined their docu- 
ments, and said, "These are just the sort we want," and turned 
them back towards the village. Halperin was seated in a sledge 
with the armed peasants. The two other young men and the 
young woman went on foot. There they met the same three 
Gaidamaks, who had come to the village earlier, and were now 
returning to the city. The Gaidamaks stopped them. The 
peasant with the rifle got down from the sledge and explained 
to the Gaidamaks that he was taking the Jews he had caught 
back to the village. The Gaidamaks pulled out their sabres and 
began to strike the young people who were on foot. All three 
were killed. Halperin, who was still in the sledge, whipped up 
the horse, which dashed towards the village. One of the Gaida- 
maks rushed after him, but could not catch up. Having gone 
a considerable distance, Halperin got down from the sledge, 
ran into the field, and stretched himself out on the snow. In 
the mist he was not easily distinguishable. However, after a 
time some peasant boys came, who decided to hand him over to 
the civil authorities as a Jew. They took him to the village of 
Grinovtsy, taking from him his wrist-watch on the way. In 
Grinovtsy, where the Buchers lived, it appeared that all the 
Jews had been arrested, and he was added to the number. 

There were about forty Jews, including children, in Grinovtsy. 
They all had the name of Bucher, and represented the de- 
scendants of a certain Bucher who had settled in the village 
long before. Between the Buchers and the local peasants good 
and neighborly relations had always subsisted. Nevertheless, 
when the news of the Proskurov massacre came to the village, 
the young peasants decided to settle with their Jews, too. Some 


of them went to Proskurov and brought back the three Gaida- 
maks of whom mention has been made. Hearing of this, 
all the Jews hid, but the peasants hunted them down and 
rounded them up with the Gaidamaks' help. The question was 
raised whether to settle with them there or in another place. 
The Gaidamaks first searched the Jews and took their 
money and valuables, amounting to more than 30,000 rubles. 
Then the Gaidamaks proposed to massacre them all on 
the spot But the old peasants told the Gaidamaks that they 
themselves would deal with their own Jews, but not here in the 
village, rather outside the village. They put the Jews, with 
their wives and children, in sledges, and started them in the 
direction of Proskurov. On the way the young peasants wanted 
to put an end to them, but the old peasants insisted that they 
be handed over to the authorities, who would mete out justice. 

They were taken to the commandant's headquarters in Prosku- 
rov, and thence to the station-commandant at the station. The 
latter, in turn, took them to the office of the field court-martial, 
but from there they were taken back to the commandant's, 
and thence to a chamber for prisoners. Since the will to mas- 
sacre had by that time sensibly diminished in Proskurov, it was 
decided to set them all free next morning. But when they were 
freed they did not return again to their homes in Grinovtsy. 
(Testimony of the Buchers, p. 3.) As for Halperin, during 
one of the transfers, he succeeded in escaping. 

The witness Marantz also tells of a marvelous deliverance. 
On Sunday, February 15, he, as a member of the council, started 
for the council-chamber to take part in the memorable session 
at which Semosenko and Kiverchuk appeared. On the way he 
met the councilman Storr, and joined him. They noticed that 
a Gaidamak officer was chasing them in a cab. When he caught 
up with them he jumped out of the cab, took out his sabre and 
attacked them. In a moment more the blows of the sabre would 
have struck them. At that moment some one on the opposite 
sidewalk called the officer by name; he turned around, and 
Marantz and Storr succeeded in hiding in the nearest house, 
and so escaped. 

On the morning of Wednesday, February 19, comparative 
quiet prevailed in the city. It goes without saying that the 
Jews did not open their shops, since they had no interest in 
that. But Semosenko issued an order that the shops should 
immediately be opened. 

On February 22, Semosenko issued a proclamation to the 
effect that, according to information in his hands, there were 


many bolshevik agitators in Proskurov, and, therefore, he de- 
manded of the population that on this same day by 8 P.M. all 
bolshevik agitators should be handed over to the authori- 
ties. If not, the most decisive measures would be adopted. At 
the same time he again demanded that all shops should be 
opened immediately under penalty of 6,000 rubles fine for each 
merchant.' The Jews saw a new provocation and a new threat 
in this proclamation. To pacify Semosenko they collected a 
sum of 300,000 rubles and decided to offer it through the local 
government for the needs of the garrison. The mayor, Sikora, 
took it upon himself to present this sum, but managed it so 
badly that Semosenko, though knowing that the money had been 
collected by Jews alone, issued a proclamation stating that he 
had received 300,000 rubles "from the entire population of Pros- 
kurov," which he thanked for properly appreciating the labors 
of his Cossacks. 

To the central authorities he announced that the inhabi- 
tants of Proskurov, in gratitude for the keeping of order in the 
city and for saving them from the bolsheviks, had presented 
him with 300,000 rubles for the needs of the garrison. 

On February 27, Semosenko issued a proclamation which be- 
gins with these words: "Jews, I have heard that yesterday you 
wanted to hold a meeting in Alexandrovskaya street in order to 
seize the power, and that you are preparing in four days to 
start another such revolt as occurred on February 14-15." After 
this follow corresponding threats. (See vol. III.) 

This proclamation completely overwhelmed the Jews, since 
they knew that no meeting had been planned and that the 
Jews were not thinking in the least of seizing the power. 
First of all they applied to Commissar Verkhola. Now Ver- 
khola had certain facts in his hands, which indicated that some- 
one in Proskurov was circulating provocatory rumors in his 
own selfish interests. It must be observed that a commission 
had been sent from Kamenetz to Proskurov to investigate the 
recent disturbances. But Semosenko, as Verkhola testifies, on 
his own authority, disbanded the commission, and named his own 
commission to investigate, not the pogrom, but the bolshevik 
revolt. One of the most active members of this commission 
was the Gaidamak Rokhmanenko, whose real name was Rokh- 
man. This Rokhman, a Jew, according to his statement, en- 
tered the ranks of the Gaidamaks as a volunteer. He 
gave himself out for a former student and the son of a rich 
tanner of Kiev. But, according to evidence I have collected, 
he was a man of little education, and no means, who had for- 


merly lived on money which he earned by giving lessons in 
Jewish. This Rokhman got himself into Semosenko's favor, 
was named on the investigating commission, and, as a member 
of the commission, received power to arrest people on his own 
responsibility and bring them to trial. He arrested principally 
sons of rich parents, and through another Jew Prosser, in whose 
house he lived, received ransom for them. (See testimony of 
Storr, pp. 7-9.) 

Verkhola succeeded in proving not only that Rokhmanenko 
was dealing in extortion and blackmail, but that other members 
of the commission were also taking bribes. He made a detailed 
report of all this to Semosenko, and insisted that he give him 
power to arrest them all. Semosenko, after long delibera- 
tion, consented to the arrest of Rokhmanenko, but absolutely 
refused to let the others be arrested. Verkhola searched Rokh- 
manenko's quarters, took away from him 18,000 rubles in cash, 
arrested him, and compelled him on examination to admit ex- 
tortion and blackmail. At the same time Rokhmanenko declared 
that he had handed over most of the bribes he had received to 
Semosenko's chief of staff, Garaschenko. Verkhola communi- 
cated to Semosenko the results of his examination, and gave 
Rokhmanenko himself over to the public prosecutor. In spite 
of repeated urgings from Verkhola, the prosecution of the case 
against him was conducted very feebly, and at last lapsed 
altogether. Though Semosenko was asked at least to release 
the records of the investigation of the case, the latter were not 
returned. Rokhmanenko himself, while in prison, boasted that 
no one dared bring him to trial, and that he would soon be 
free and would then be bitterly revenged on his enemies. When 
the evacuation of Proskurov by the Petlurists began, it was 
decided to conduct Rokhmanenko from the common prison to 
another place, it being expected that his friends would liberate 
him and take him away. While he was being transferred, some 
one, out of personal revenge, shot him. Thus ended the days 
of this adventurist and renegade, who, by the way, boasted that 
he had taken an active part in the massacre of the Jews. 

It goes without saying that Semosenko's proclamation of 
February 27 was issued under the influence of the provocatory 
activity of Rokhmanenko and other members of the special 
commission, who in their own selfish interests needed to sow 
panic and alarm among the Jews. 

And, in fact, the Jews could not shake off their panic of fear. 
In company with Commissar Verkhola they considered all means 
which could be adopted for getting rid of Semosenko. At last 


Verkhola applied to the president of the Ukrainian national 
union, Mudry, who was in friendly relations with Semosenko's 
immediate superior, the corps-commander Konovaletz, and asked 
him to use his influence with Konovaletz to get Semosenko 
transferred to another place, since, while he was there, the 
tranquilization of the population of Proskurov was unthinkable. 
In this respect Verkhola also made sure of the co-operation of 
Kiverchuk, who did not like seeing all the power in the hands 
of Semosenko, and undoubtedly was envious of the latter. Be- 
sides this, Kiverchuk thought that Semosenko, in slaughtering 
a large part of the Jewish population, had done his work and 
that there was no further need for him. Together with Mudry, 
Verkhola went to Konovaletz's headquarters and there got from 
him an order that Semosenko should lay down the duties of 
garrison-commander and return to the front. Kiverchuk, in 
turn, was also soon removed from the post of commandant of 
the city of Proskurov, and remained only commandant of the 
canton of Proskurov. 

However, Semosenko was slow to lay down his office. He 
schemed to remain in Proskurov, and, in his turn, intrigued 
against Kiverchuk. Apparently he especially disliked the moral 
satisfaction which his going would give the Jews. But when 
he saw that he had to go, he made use of the fact that he was 
suffering from a chronic venereal disease, called a consultation 
of physicians, and, through his adjutant, persuaded them to 
give him their verdict to the effect that in the interests of his 
health it was necessary for him temporarily to give up service 
entirely, and to retire to some hospital at a good distance from 
Proskurov. (See testimony of Dr. Salitronik, pp. 41-43.) With 
great pomp, attended by sanitary detachments and sisters of 
mercy, Semosenko at last left Proskurov. 

This Semosenko, who bathed the houses and streets of Prosku- 
rov with Jewish blood, was, according to the description of 
witnesses, a weak young man of 22 or 23, who had begun 
his service as a volunteer under the tsar. With the forced 
seriousness of his face he produced on all the impression of a 
half-witted, nervous and unbalanced man. Judging by some of 
his resolutions in the reports which I have seen, it must be 
admitted that he was at the same time characterized by great 
powers of calculation and decisiveness. 

According to my approximate reckoning more than 1,200 
persons were killed in Proskurov and environs. Besides this, 
out of over 600 wounded, more than 300 died. 

In view of the fact that in his first proclamation Semosenko 


threatened to shoot on the spot anyone who instigated a 
pogrom, and that this proclamation was not published owing to 
Kiverchuk, who at that time was hindering Semosenko's entry 
into power by every means; and in view of the further fact 
that Kiverchuk willingly let him have this power when he ex- 
pressed readiness to massacre the Jews ; I come to the conclusion 
that Semosenko was mainly the physical instrument of those 
bloody horrors which took place in Proskurov. But the chief 
inspiration of the bloody times in Proskurov appears to have 
been, in my opinion, Col. Kiverchuk that old tsarist official and 
unquestioned pogromist and black-hundreder. 

It was the sad function of Proskurov to establish a new 
phase in the technique of pogroms. Previous pogroms had as 
their chief purpose robbery, that is, the stealing of Jewish 
property; murders followed the looting, but still they were not 
the principal purpose. The Cossacks regarded the looting as the 
just reward for their faithful service; and in the killing of 
peaceful and unarmed people they saw a manifestation of their 
valor and personal prowess. Beginning with Proskurov the 
basic purpose of the pogroms in Ukraine appears as the total 
destruction of the Jewish population. Looting was also widely 
practised, but it took second place. 

In Proskurov the Uman massacre of the time of Honta was 
repeated. The difference is only that in Uman, under Honta, 
Poles and Jews were massacred, while in Proskurov only Jews 
were massacred, with strict neutrality on the part of the Poles 
and other Christians. 


The Felshtin pogrom must be regarded not as an independent 
pogrom but as an episode of the Proskurov massacre. 

As I stated in my report on Proskurov, a part of the soldiers 
who revolted on the morning of Saturday, February 15, went 
along the road to Felshtin, in order to raise a revolt there. 
Upon arriving there they first arrested the commandant of 
militia and announced to all that a bolshevik revolution had 
taken place in Proskurov, and that a similar revolution was to 
take place in the whole canton of Proskurov. But soon they 
released the commandant of militia and took from him, as from 
other people, their signed statements that they unqualifiedly sub- 
mitted to the newly organized bolshevik regime. However, on 


the same day, February 15, they learned that the bolshevik revolt 
in Proskurov had failed. They then hastily quitted Felshtin and 
scattered in various directions. 

This episode with the bolshevist uprising greatly disturbed the 
local Jewish population. In the evening, this disquietude in- 
creased when vague rumors began to arrive about the events in 
Proskurov. The alarm of the Jews increased more when on 
the next day, Sunday, these rumors became more definite. 

The Jews applied to the commandant of militia, asking him 
to strengthen the guard. He promised to summon peasants from 
the neighboring village of Porichie, and also from Proskurov, 
to help the local guard. For this he received from the Jews 
a corresponding sum of money. And, in fact, on Monday 
morning there appeared armed peasant youths from Porichie, 
who surrounded the place. This was the auxiliary guard which 
the commandant of militia had collected. He himself went to 
Proskurov on Monday morning. He returned at 6 P.M. and 
after him appeared Cossacks with "red caps," that is, those same 
Gaidamaks who, as was now definitely known in Felshtin, had 
massacred the Jews in Proskurov. 

The Jews understood that they were fated for slaughter and 
began to hide wherever they could. Most of them hid in cellars 
and garrets. Many tried to leave the place, but the guard sur- 
rounding the place, which the commandant of militia had in- 
vited from Porichie, did not let the Jews pass through. Thus 
the Jews were completely hemmed in ; very few got out. 

The night was spent in great agitation. Occasionally individ- 
ual shots were heard. 

According to the testimony of the witness Landa, whose house 
opens on the square of the main street of the town, he saw from 
the window of his house that several hundred Gaidamaks were 
collecting in the square, and with them many peasants' carts from 
the neighboring villages. In the morning, approximately at seven 
o'clock, he heard the sound of a horn, and saw the Gaidamaks 
forming in line on the square. Someone addressed them, after 
which they scattered through the town. Soon he began to hear 
the cries of people being murdered. Four Gaidamaks came in 
to his own house, and one of them made a motion at him with 
his sabre, but another stopped him. They demanded money of 
him, and he gave them about 6,000 rubles, assuring them that 
he had no more, and offering them all his things, but asking that 
they spare his life. They took no things and went to the door. 
The same Gaidamak who had stopped his comrade when he 
threatened him with a sabre said : "You had better hide, because 


others will come and will certainly kill you.'" Landa, who was 
alone in the dwelling, since he had previously sent his wife and 
only daughter to another place, with the aid of this same Gaida- 
mak got up into the garret by a hanging ladder, which the 
Gaidamak handed up to him in the garret, where he hid it. 
From the garret Landa was able to view all the horrors which 
were taking place in Felshtin. He saw old men and children 
dragged out of the houses and murdered. After a long time he 
saw three women near his house, and thinking that one was his 
wife, jumped down to look at the body. He found that it was not 
his wife, but did not venture to return to his dwelling because the 
ladder remained in the garret. He then ran into the house of 
a Russian neighbor and begged for refuge, but was driven out 
Then he ran into the garret of a neighboring house and hid 
there in the straw. Two lads of the Porichie guard saw this, 
and pursued him; they went up into the garret, but did not find 
him. They tried to set the straw on fire, but did not succeed. 

Another witness, Sviner, who had recently returned from the 
front, tells how he, with his mother and sisters, hid in their 
house, and several groups of Gaidamaks visited them. He 
bought them off with money. When the last group appeared, 
he had no money left. He went out on the street to them and 
began to beg them to spare him. He took refuge in cunning 
and turned to one Gaidamak and said that he had lain with him 
in the trenches during the war. The Gaidamak began to look 
him over, and then turned his glance towards his legs and said: 
"You have some fine shoes, give them to me." He gladly agreed, 
and went into the house with the Gaidamaks and took off his 
boots. The Gaidamak in turn took off his own boots and put on 
Sviner's. Then he took out of his pocket a fresh pair of stock- 
ings, gave them to Sviner, and helped him put on his old boots. 
Having received a pair of rubbers also, he turned to his com- 
panions and said : "We won't kill a man with whom I sat in the 
trenches." Towards evening Sviner and his family, not knowing 
that the massacre was over, decided not to stay in the house any 
longer, and, making their way through the corpses on the street, 
they all left the town and spent the whole night in the fields. 
They only returned on the next day, when they learned that the 
town was quiet. Sviner then went to the bouse of his brother, 
who had been president of the Jewish community. With difficulty, 
walking over bodies, he got to the house, and there found his 
brother, his wife, her parents, and also several other people who 
had hidden in the house, all murdered. 

The witness Kreimer states that he was in Proskurov at the 


time of the pogrom there. Having saved his life, on Sunday, 
February 16, at 12 noon, he started on foot for Felshtin, where 
he regularly lives. But at the village of Malinichi he was ar- 
rested by a militiaman and taken to the militia headquarters. 
The commandant of militia said he must take him back to 
Proskurov, to the commandant's. When he said he would be 
shot there and begged him not to send him there, the commander 
of militia replied that he himself would undergo a serious risk 
if he did not do so. He showed him a telegram received from 
Kiverchuk, commandant of Proskurov, telling him to shoot on 
the spot, or send to him in Proskurov to be shot, all agitators 
and Jews. 

At this time militiamen brought in an entire family which 
had escaped from Proskurov in the same way and was heading 
for Felshtin. But when asked whence and whither the family 
was going, the head of the family was clever enough to answer 
that they were going from Felshtin to Proskurov. Then the 
commander of militia took steps to send this family back to 
Felshtin. The witness Kreimer made use of this and immedi- 
ately asked this family to tell his relatives in Felshtin of his 
dangerous situation, and to ask them to spare no means what- 
ever to save him. After this the commander agreed to let him 
stay in the village till the next morning. But after some time, 
approximately two hours, the militiamen brought in sixteen other 
Jews, who had escaped from Proskurov. Then the commander 
of militia declared that he could not keep such a crowd of 
people until morning, and decided to send all of them, including 
Kreimer, to Proskurov at once. They were already placed on 
carts, but at this time a telephone call came from Felshtin and 
the (Felshtin) commander of militia, who knew him, asked in- 
sistently for Kreimer. Then it was again decided to let them all 
stay in the village till morning. In the evening Kreimer suc- 
ceeded in speaking with a certain local Jew, who entered into 
negotiations with the commander of militia on his behalf and 
that of four other Jews, to let them go to Felshtin for a fixed 
sum. The amount agreed upon was five thousand rubles, which 
was paid. Owing to this, Kreimer and the four other Jews, with 
the latter's families, succeeded in getting away in carts to 
Felshtin. But the other Jews, not having money to pay a 
thousand rubles apiece, were taken back to Proskurov. Kreimer 
arrived in Felshtin on Monday during the day; in the evening 
the Gaidamaks arrived there. He succeeded in getting his rela- 
tives to a neighboring village in good time, and he himself hid 
in the cellar, where he spent the whole night, and likewise all 


the next day. Through a crack in the boards with which the 
cellar was covered he watched various episodes of the massacre, 
and also saw how the militiamen, especially peasants, stole 
goods from the shops, and also property from the houses. 

The witness Schneider assures us that telegrams similar to 
the one received from Kiverchuk by the military commander in 
Malinichi, were sent also to other villages and hamlets, and that 
owing to them many Jews were shot on sight. He knows of 
the fact that a Jewess named Brauer, who was fleeing with her 
children from Proskurov, was in this manner led out to be shot, 
but ransomed herself for a large sum of money. The same 
witness Schneider states that he was well acquainted with the 
head of the post and telegraph bureau, who likewise managed 
the local Bureau of Information, and that he went to see him at 
twelve o'clock noon to find out about the situation. While he 
was there the postmaster was called on direct wire from Prosku- 
rov, and remained at the telephone more than an hour. When 
he returned, Schneider asked him: "Well, what do they tell you 
from Proskurov?" The other answered that the Gaidamaks 
had gone out over the whole canton of Proskurov, and would 
probably come to Felshtin, too. When he asked what was 
going to happen in Felshtin then surely not a repetition of the 
horrors in Proskurov, the other gave an evasive answer. Upon 
the repetition of the question he made no reply. Then Schneider 
hastily said good-bye to him, so as to communicate what he 
had heard to the Jews. As he left the postmaster said to him: 
"Come and see me this evening." But Schneider in his heart 
replied that he had no time to go visiting at such a time. 

It is to be noted that the Gaidamaks arrived the evening be- 
fore, but nevertheless did not let the Jews leave their houses. 
Schneider spent the night from Monday to Tuesday, the whole 
day Tuesday, and the following night, in the cellar where he 
had hidden himself. He did not know that the massacre had 
ended at two o'clock on Tuesday. Only on Wednesday morning 
did he come out of the cellar. But even then corpses in great 
numbers were still lying about the streets. He started to help 
the wounded and with this object went to the public hospital. 
The militia commander happened to be there, and Schneider was 
an involuntary witness to the following conversation of the 
militia commander with the regional ("government," gubernia) 
commander from Kamenetz. Evidently in reply to a question 
about the 'happenings in Felshtin, the militia commander re- 
ported: "Monday morning some Cossacks appeared, who said 
they were Gaidamaks. Their ataman suggested to me that I 


should not hinder them from dealing with the Jews as they 
might see fit. And when he asked me whether I consented to 
this, I replied: 'I haven't the power to oppose you, and I shall 
not interfere with you.' " Further he communicated the facts 
about the massacre that had taken place in the town, and stated 
that the number of killed was about 500. "Before leaving the 
place," he said, "the same ataman said to me: 'Don't interfere 
with the peasants; let them do what they think best. Let them 
take that which the Jews have sucked out of the people for 
such a long time.' " And, in fact, the peasants did come with 
carts, and plundered the property of the Jews. 

At Felshtin there were gathered several hundreds of Gaida- 
maks ; that is, apparently, all the Gaidamaks who were in Prosku- 
rov, since the whole third Gaidamak regiment consisted of only 
several hundreds all told. 

It is characteristic that some of the Gaidamaks who arrived 
at Felshtin on Monday evening went to Jewish homes and 
asked for lodgings. They were not only furnished with lodg- 
ings, but fed an abundant supper with sweetmeats. These 
Gaidamaks behaved themselves very decently and even respect- 
fully. They declared that they had come to Felshtin without 
any evil intentions, and that they would go back the next day. 
However, in the morning, after the signal-horn, those same 
Gaidamaks cut down the very same Jews who had entertained 

The question has arisen how to reconcile the massacre in 
Felshtin with the promise, which, according to Verkhola and 
others, Semosenko gave on Sunday to the session of the council, 
namely, to call the Gaidamaks back from Felshtin. The Jews 
of Felshtin declare that Semosenko gave orders to this effect 
by telegraph, but that the telegram was hidden by the head of 
the post and telegraph bureau. This rests on an evident mis- 
understanding. The distance from Proskurov to Felshtin is 
only 25 versts in all, and the Gaidamaks who came to Felshtin 
Monday evening unquestionably left Proskurov on the morning 
of the same day. It is clear that what was needed was not for 
Semosenko to recall the Cossacks from Felshtin, but simply not 
to send them there. But it is possible that it was no longer in 
Semosenko's power to keep them in Proskurov. 

We must remember that the Gaidamaks had been promised 
bloody sport with the Jews in Proskurov for three days. But 
the experience of the first day, Saturday, surpassed the expec- 
tations, apparently, of Semosenko and Kiverchuk themselves. 
It was therefore decided to stop the massacre in Proskurov. 


But at the same time the Gaidamaks, having tasted Jewish blood, 
got a liking for it, and showed a desire for further slaughter. 
It was not so easy, apparently, to stop them. Besides this, the 
telegrams sent out all over the canton by Kiverchuk, of which 
mention has been made, stirred up the entire canton. From 
Kiverchuk's point of view, after what had happened in Prosku- 
rov, the capital of the canton, it would have been unjust, perhaps 
insulting, to the rest of the canton, to leave it entirely without 
Jewish blood. However this may be, at any rate, the Gaidamaks 
received permission to go out into the canton. Moreover we 
must remember that they were afforded freedom to act on their 
own responsibility. It depended on them to act in this way or 
that. This explains the fact that in Yarmolintsy, where the 
bolsheviki had also been, they contented themselves with a 
considerable sum of money. The local Jews went out of the 
town to meet them and furnished this sum to them; and they 
did not start a massacre. But when they came to Felshtin they 
found a pogrom-like frame of mind already prepared there. 
This frame of mind had been created by the guard from 
Porichie, which the militia commander had summoned, and also 
by the commander of militia himself, who, according to all the 
evidence, .sympathized and co-operated with the pogrom. Even 
his eighty-year-old father, during the massacre, took a stout 
board in his hands and finished killing wounded Jews, as is 
confirmed by several witnesses who saw it from the garret 
where they were hiding. This pogrom-like frame of mind was 
also helped on by the head of the post and telegraph bureau, 
who was informed of everything, but not only did nothing to 
avert the pogrom, but did not even try to mitigate it. This b 
made sufficiently clear from the testimony of the witness 
Schneider. Under the influence of this pogrom-like frame of 
mind, the debauch of the Gaidamak horde in Felshtin was irre- 

The pogrom in Felshtin lasted several hours. There were 485 
people killed, and 180 wounded. Of the wounded more than a 
hundred died of their wounds. Thus the killed amounted in all 
to 600 people, which amounts to nearly a third of the Jewish 
population in the town ; it contained in all about 1,900 Jewish 

It should be observed that in Proskurov- the Gaidamaks, who 
had taken an oath on Saturday to slay but not to steal, hon- 
estly fulfilled their sacred oath. Robberies on the part of the 
Gaidamaks were rare there. But from Saturday 7 to Tuesday, 
when the Felshtin massacre took place, several days had elapsed, 


and in this time the sanctity of the oath, apparently, had evap- 
orated from the consciousness of the Gaidamaks. In Felshtin 
robberies went hand in hand with murders. 

It must also be noted that while in Proskurov the assaults on 
women were isolated, in Felshtin there were a great many. The 
majority of the murdered women had first been violated, and 
many women who were not killed also suffered violation. 
Twelve cases were registered in which the unfortunate women 
needed surgical attention as a result. 

As they left after the giving of the signal by trumpet, the 
Gaidamaks poured kerosene and benzine over five of the best 
houses in town and set them on fire. 

Thus these champions completed their work for the welfare 
of the Ukrainian fatherland, and thus ended this bloody baccha- 
nalia in Proskurov and Felshtin. 

(End of A. I. Hillerson's Report.) 




Testimony of Simon-Leib Rabinovich, age 42, fish-dealer. 

On March 20, when navigation began, there came to Pechki 
20 Strukists. They were appointed to guard the river; perhaps 
steamers might pass, and then, as the soldiers themselves put it, 
"there will be gold bracelets, watches, and fine boots." Ten 
of them were quartered about the hamlet. The rest of the day 
and the night passed quietly. On the next day, early in the 
morning, two armed Strukists came to my house and ordered 
me to go with them. When I asked where they were taking 
me, they answered, "To headquarters, to Struk's." I went with 
them. On the way the bandits took three other Jews and 
started us in the direction of Gornostaipol. When we came 
out of the house, the soldiers began to demand money. Having 
received a comparatively small sum, the soldiers let us go. We 
returned to the hamlet. There a Strukist met me and yelled 
at me: "You are a Jew! You Jews want a commune! You'll 
find it in the water or under the ground!" I began to reply 
to him. Peasants gathered around us. The soldier proved 
rather dull, he had no answer for my arguments, and the 
peasants looked ironically at him. The soldier let me go and 
went away. (As I afterwards found out, that bandit was a 
Jew named Orosky, from the hamlet of Gorodische; no one 
knows what his former occupation was.) On the same even- 
ing the bandits rounded up all the local Jews, old men and 
women, and, showing them a machine-gun, demanded a con- 
tribution of 4,000 rubles. We began to bargain with them and 



struck a bargain at 1,800 rubles. Things became peaceful. On 
March 23 firing began; a bolshevist detachment began to attack 
the Strukists from Oster. The Jews left the village and hid 
themselves as best they could in the vicinity. The Strukists 
won, and again became the only government in the whole 
region. Three days later the Jews returned to the hamlet. 
Their houses had been completely plundered. In my own house 
the windows and doors were smashed, and all the furnishings 
had vanished. I learned that the Strukists had only made a 
beginning at this; all the goods had been seized by the local 
peasants. I began to demand insistently that the peasants return 
the plunder to me. This helped. The peasants got frightened 
(on this day there were no Strukists in the village), and began, 
little by little, to bring my goods back to me. I was told that 
my neighbor had taken my feather-bed and cushions. I went 
to ask him to return my bed to me. He fell on me like a wild 
beast; how did I dare to demand of him, the head man of the 
village? He would arrest me and hand me over to the Strukists 
as a communist. I saw that some change had taken place in 
my neighbor. He had previously been peaceable, and extraor- 
dinarily conscientious, and had always been kind with me. I 
understood that I could not stay any longer in the village. I 
had to get away to save my life. I left the house, and slowly, 
as if taking a stroll, so that they should not notice my plans, 
began to go out of the village. On the way I kept chatting 
and joking with the peasants. I felt by the behavior of the 
peasants that something was due to happen to me there. For 
a minute I entered a peasant's hut. In a couple of minutes the 
head man ran after me with a gun in his hand: "Aha, you're 
here! I'll shoot you right here at once. You want to give us 
the slip." I managed to appease the head man with words, and 
got him pacified. He went away and told me to wait for the 
overseers (desiatniki) , for whom he had sent. I again sneaked 
out of the hut without being noticed, and, slinking along over 
fences and through fields, going in up to my neck in water, got 
to the river, and from there got across in a boat to Oster. As I 
learned, the Strukists came to the village on the next day. 
They took the entire Jewish population of the place, young 
and old, out beyond the village into the fields. They demanded 
money. Whoever had money with him bought himself off, re- 
ceived blows to boot, and was undressed (they undressed them 
all and left them in nothing but underclothes). My father, a 
75-year-old man, had no money with him and was killed on the 
spot, before the eyes of the other Jews. Now there is no one 


left of the Jews. The peasants are quite friendly to us when 
we visit them. 


Testimony of Vasia Makovskaia 

Our village furnished many Strukists. There had never been 
any friction between the Jews and the peasants. The Jews had 
been living there a long time and were on good terms with the 
peasants. When the Struk gangs appeared in our region, the 
attitude to the Jews changed in our village. The Strukists from 
the village and their comrades came there on every convenient 
occasion. They brought with them malice and hatred for the 
Jews. The peasants' attitude to the Jews became worse and 
more hostile from day to day. They began to discover that the 
Jews were in the way there, and disturbed the freedom of life. 
Every time when the Strukists came into the village the peas- 
ants told them what could be demanded of each of the Jews. 
Often they would send the Strukists into Jewish stores or homes 
to seize something that suited their own, the peasants', needs. 
In a short time there had disappeared from the Jews' houses 
much property, clothing, and money. I won't go over in detail 
all that happened among us at this time, how they stole all our 
money, took our shoes and clothing off from us, how they beat 
us and threatened us with death. All this is nothing in com- 
parison with what happened to us afterwards. 

At Passover about ten bandits came to us. The "guests" 
were very impudent. Whenever they saw a Jewish face, they 
mercilessly beat him. From the peasants we found out that they 
were getting ready to hold a Jewish massacre the next day. 
Then all the Jews left the place by stealth. My husband was 
93 years old and I had to hunt for a cart for him. All the 
peasants to whom I applied for a cart refused, explaining that 
they had been strictly ordered not to transport Jews. My 
husband and I hid in a poor peasant's hut. At night I was 
informed that the Strukists had left. My husband and I re- 
turned home. About ten minutes afterwards ten bandits burst 
in and demanded that we tell them where our "communist"- 
sons were. They began to beat us. My husband gave them our 
last 200 rubles, and the bandits left. We could not stay in the 
house any longer and decided to hide again somewhere. We 
had only gone a few paces when we saw the Strukists coming 


towards us. We tried to get into the barn ; I succeeded in doing 
so. But they saw my old husband and took him to the nearest 
hut. I heard them demanding of him that he surrender his 
sons. The old man replied, in exasperation, that they should 
leave him in peace. One of them shot at him three times. He 
fell dead. Another soldier, when he was already dead, beat his 
head and cut his face. They undressed him, took the things, 
and went out of the hut. I heard them saying to each other: 
"We must find his wife, she must be somewhere about here. 
It would be a good thing to hitch her up and have her take her 
husband to the river, and then drown her." I don't know where 
I got such strength and skill. As soon as the soldiers left, I 
began to make my way across fences until I got to the end of 
the village. There I betook myself to the grain-fields, where 
I spent the night. Early in the morning I left the grain-field 
and went to a certain peasant who was very well acquainted 
with us. He was sorry for me but was afraid to let me into his 
hut. He took me into the barn with the potatoes and locked 
me up. I spent two days in the barn. On the third day, when 
the bandits left the village, the peasant brought me into the 
house. I fell in a faint, and was brought to. I lay abed several 
days. When I came to myself, I didn't even look at my house 
and started for Gornostaipol. Two of my sons are serving in 
the Red Army. 

(Signed for Vasia Makovskaia, who is illiterate, at her re- 

Orony is a village of 300-400 huts, eight versts from Gor- 
nostaipol. Four Jewish families lived there. The name of the 
93-year-old man who was killed was Benzion Mikhelev Oranik; 
he is buried in the Gornostaipol cemetery. 


The village of Karagod, canton of Radomysl, 14 versts from 
Chernobyl, consists of approximately 300 peasants' huts. Fifteen 
families of Jews lived there. The village lies on the road from 
Chernobyl to Khabno. The Jews of Karagod had lived very 
peacefully with the peasants. When the gangs of Strukists 
began to operate in the region of Chernobyl and Khabno, misery 
began to be widespread. Many Jewish houses were destroyed 
down to the foundation. Peasants took part in this, in Karagod, 
as in a whole series of other villages. All the Jews of Karagod 
abandoned the places they had occupied, and fled. In Chernobyl 


I happened to meet three Jews from Karagod. I must say 
things went off comparatively well there, since there were no 
human lives lost. Of three Jews whom I questioned, one had 
been considered the rich man of the place. He left the village 
in good time. On the way "soldiers" fell upon him, and took off 
his clothes and left him half naked. Now he is going tattered 
and hungry, and relies on people's charity, to escape death from 
hunger. Of the other two, one has his head bandaged; his 
skull was hurt. Sometimes he cries from pain in an inhuman 
voice. His face is nothing but a mass of livid wounds; from 
the bloated mass his eyes look out through little cracks. The 
other Jew looks better. His left hand is hurt and he cannot use 
it. I could not question them long, I could not bear to listen 
to their broken, hoarse words, full of sighs. I was simply not 
able to see the tears slowly wandering through the Jew's gray 
beard. Here, in brief, is what they say: 

Zolotar, Nukhim Avrumov, 41 Years Old, Married, Tailor 

Beginning in December, 1918, the gangs of Struk visited our 
village endlessly. They were peasants of the neighboring vil- 
lages, mostly former soldiers, or simply scum with a very bad 
reputation. From our village also some young peasants, who 
loved to live well and had little hankering for agriculture, ad- 
hered to the Strukist horde. When the Strukist gangs passed 
by not far from us, groups of them came in to the village to 
visit their people, and on the way, playing with their rifles, to 
empty Jewish pockets or carry away some domestic articles from 
the Jews. This lasted for a rather long time, and we got used 
to such a condition of things. On April 10 there appeared in 
the village seven such bandits. One of them came to me while 
I was sitting at work. At the time several peasant customers 
were with me. When the soldiers came in they said to the peas- 
ants: "Take your cloth, and if you recognize cloth belonging 
to other peasants here, take that, too, because we are going to 
clean things up here right away." The peasants did so and left. 
The bandits demanded money from me. I felt at once by their 
tone and all their behavior that a more serious matter was 
impending than in the previous attacks, and I gave them all the 
cash I had. Having taken the money they began to pack up the 
linen, clothes, and household goods, as much as they could 
carry away with them, and departed. I hoped that I had gotten 
off with this, but I was mistaken. After about ten minutes one 
of them returned with an order from the leader to bring me to 


him. I tried to buy myself off with money. The soldier took 
the money, but nevertheless took me, too, to the leader. The 
latter demanded 200 rubles of me. I had no more money. The 
leader began to beat me with a whip and the handle of his 
revolver. I was covered with blood. I began to implore him 
to let me go into the village, where I would be able to borrow 
the amount from an acquaintance. The leader consented and 
went in person with me. On the way we met a crowd of peas- 
ants. The bandit began to beat me, make me sing Jewish songs, 
dance, fall on my knees, and cross myself. I was compelled to 
do all this. The peasants did not interfere. But the spectacle 
was apparently not very pleasing to them, because they began 
to disperse. The leader took me farther. Meeting a Russian 
girl he knew, the bandit bade me repeat the dance, the singing, 
etc. The peasants to whom I applied for money would not 
lend it to me. Blows rained upon me without end. In one hut, 
where I went for money, I found a Jewess of the place with 
black and blue marks on her bare arms, in tears. Three bandits 
stood around her. What happened afterwards it is unnecessary 
to relate. With great difficulty I got 200 rubles from a peasant 
lad. The soldier let me go. For several days I hid, and then 
went away to Chernobyl. I was informed that absolutely noth- 
ing was left in my house and establishment. I must add that 
they took my clothing and shoes off me and compelled me to 
perform the "comedy" in nothing but my underclothes and bare 


Khatutzky, Moise Duvidov, 42 Years Old, Married, Shop-Keeper. 

With the appearance of the Strukists I had nothing left to 
sell in my shop. The goods were stolen by troops of bandits, 
who paid me for them with vilest epithets and blows. To hide 
the goods anywhere, to bury them in the ground, did not help. 
They did not spare the trouble of hunting everywhere, and the 
longer the search lasted, the more blows were inflicted on me 
and my wife. I don't remember when this was ; but two soldiers 
came to me and demanded money. I gave them two hundred 
rubles which I had. They were not satisfied with this and com- 
manded me to go with them. I knew that this threatened seri- 
ous danger for me. because there had been several similar cases. 
The Jews returned with such disfigurements that it was hard 
to recognize them, and told of horrible things. I began to en- 
treat the soldiers and offered them various things. But nothing 


helped. They began to beat me, and I had to go. The soldiers 
took me to a brook and threw me into the water. They appar- 
ently wanted to drown me. But the water there was very 
shallow. They threw me around every way; in spite of all, I 
remained alive. Then they took me out of the village and threw 
me into a pond which was near the distillery. There death ap- 
peared inevitable. But it happened that two peasant acquaint- 
ances went past, and they interceded for me, saying that I was 
a "good Jew." Cursing, the soldiers left me in peace. 


The village of Chinkov is 25 versts from Chernobyl ; has about 
100 houses ; only two Jewish families lived there. When Struk's 
gangs appeared there and began to pay special attention to these 
two Jewish families (to visit them often, take away what they 
liked, and threaten), one of them left the village, while of the 
other there remained an old man (he hoped that his age would 
save him from danger) with a youth of 16-18 years, his assist- 
ant in his mill. This boy is the only witness of what happened 
in the village. He is now in the Chernobyl alms-house, seriously 
ill, according to the physicians. He is all done up in bandages, 
and cannot move his arms. On one arm are four open wounds, 
on the other hand one finger is entirely cut off. On his head 
are several serious wounds, and his nose is badly injured. Here 
is his story: 

We got used to frequent visits from guests who grossly 
reviled us. The visits always ended with the receipt of small 
sums of money or of articles having no special value. My 
employer had rented the mill for a long time and was on the 
best of terms with the local peasants. He always hoped that 
the peasants, with whom he had grown up together and with 
whom he constantly associated, would save him. I cannot say 
that the peasants instigated the bandits or sympathized with 
them. But they did not do the least thing on their part to 
avert the actions of the bandits. The word of a single local 
peasant was enough (of this we have seen ocular proof) to 
stop the action of the bandits. I don't remember myself on 
what day this occurred. A tall, vigorous soldier came in and 
demanded money. The old man agreed with him on 2,000 rubles. 
This was the last cash which the old man had. Several days 
later the soldier came again and demanded now 20,000 rubles. 


Three other soldiers were waiting in the street. The old man 
had no money. The soldier became furious, and, shouting 
"Damned Jewish communist,'* struck him so violently with his 
bare sabre that the old man fell dead on the spot, without even 
uttering a sound. I started to move for the door. The soldier 
noticed this and struck me on the head with his sabre. I fell. 
The soldier called his companions from the street and they all 
began to run around the place and take everything they liked. 
As they left our house one bandit noticed that I was still alive. 
He struck me several times more with his sabre. Then they 
set fire to the house and barn. I did not lose consciousness. 
When I began to suffocate with the smoke I tried to jump out 
of a window. But the bandits noticed me and I had to go back 
into the house. The barn was already in flames and the fire 
was beginning to penetrate the house. I approached the win- 
dow. The bandits were gone. I went out from the house in 
the direction of Chernobyl. What happened afterwards I do 
not know. They say that peasants found me on the road and 
took me to Chernobyl. Recently they brought the charred bones 
of my employer there, too, and buried them. 


The fortunate village of Ditiatki got off without human vic- 
tims. It consists of approximately 300 peasants' huts ; it is eight 
versts from Gornostaipol. In December, 1918, the Strukists 
began to appear there. They were young peasants from the 
neighboring villages, with rifles. They permitted themselves 
frequent taunts at the Jews, of course not without blows and 
threats with revolvers. The peasants soon fell under the in- 
fluence of the Strukists and began to dig up ancient sins of the 
Jews. They began to hunt for old "unpaid" debts and to think 
up various crimes (the Jews served as spies of the bolsheviki, 
had invited the Hetman to return to Kiev, etc.). And they de- 
manded unconditional fulfilment of their demands and claims, 
otherwise they would summon the Strukists thither. The Jews 
were compelled to pay and pay. This became a chronic phe- 
nomenon. "For a lark" they would arouse the Jews by night, 
or would stop them on the street, saying, "Why, those shoes are 
mine." The Jews could not endure this any longer and left the 
village, abandoning their property to the will of fate. And 
they did well. Soon they heard that they were being searched 
for. It is difficult to believe that the search was for the sake 


of money, of which they long since had no more. Even yet the 
Jews of Ditiatki have not returned to the village. 

Testimony of Gusovsky, Joseph Berkov, 45 Years Old, 
Married, Shop-keeper 

The Strukists often visited our village and every time came to 
me and took whatever they liked. Often they divided my goods 
among the peasant children, who followed them in throngs. If 
anything was not given to them quickly enough, they would beat 
me, threaten me with rifles, etc. 

Once, as I was coming home, I heard Strukists asking the 
peasants, "Where does the spy Gusovsky live here?" I under- 
stood what this meant. I hid in a peasant's barn. At night I 
returned home. They had wounded my wife, and completely 
plundered my household goods. Everything had vanished; they 
had taken the feathers out of the pillows. My wife told me 
that the bandits had come looking for me, and said they would 
come again. I understood that it was impossible to stay in the 
village any more, and with my wife and children left the place, 
carefully creeping through fences. 



Pogrom of May 15-17, 1919 

On May 15, 16 and 17 of this year a pogrom of which I was 
an eye-witness occurred in Yelisavetgrad, Government of 

The Soviet forces, which, under the leadership of the ataman 
Grigoriev, had taken Nikolaiev, Kherson and Odessa, after the 
taking of Odessa, disposed themselves on the line Voznesensk- 
Pomoschnaia-Yelisavetgrad-Znamenka-Kremenchug, and Zna- 
menka-Korystovka-Piatikhatki. Among these guerrilla forces, 
consisting exclusively of the dregs of the peasant population of 
the Kherson government, there were very many criminals, who 
poured into the divisions of Grigoriev during their occupation 
of the towns, since upon the transfer of the towns to the Pet- 
lura-Grigoriev regime all the criminals were released from 
prison, and part of them entered Grigoriev's ranks. The frame 


of mind of the Grigoriev forces was always hostile to the Jews, 
and when these forces, after the taking of Odessa, freed from 
military activities, began to stretch out in squadrons along the 
line of the railroad, the pogrom agitation began to increase 
among them and speeches began to be delivered ever more 
frequently on the theme of "the injuriousness of Jews and com- 

Two days before a Jewish pogrom had been carried out by 
the Grigoriev troops in Znamenka (36 versts from Yelisavet- 
grad), and the Grigoriev squadrons from there began to arrive 
in Yelisavetgrad. Great agitation arose in the city. The stores 
did not open; attacks on dwellings began; on all the streets 
groups of soldiers went about questioning passers-by _ whether 
they were not communists. On the tenth there appeared on the 
streets of the city a manifesto ("Universal") with the signature 
of the ataman Grigoriev, calling for the overthrow of the Soviet 
regime, which, according to the manifesto, consisted of foreign- 
ers from "Moscow and the country where they crucified Christ." 
The Soviet institutions were destroyed, the militia units broken 
up; the city remained without protection. Throughout the city 
there began to pop up everywhere hooligans, dwellers in the out- 
skirts, tramps from the market place, and educated black-hun- 
dreders and members of the Union of the Russian People. They 
carried on open agitation and called for the destruction of the 
Jews. To arouse the masses of the people against the Jews 
the genuine Russians disinterred the bodies of the well-known 
local bandit, Petka Smely, and the former mayor, Verischagin, 
who had been shot by the bolsheviks immediately upon the 
withdrawal of the Petlurists, and held a solemn funeral. Un- 
official and isolated attacks on Jewish houses continued for about 
a week. On the tenth of May there approached the city from 
the direction of Odessa a small detachment of Soviet forces 
that had been despatched ; it consisted of Georgians and sail- 
ors. The Grigorievists hastily left the city towards the station 
of Znamenka. The town went over to the previous regime, but 
not for long. For the ataman Grigoriev, learning that the 
number of the detachment sent out was not large, again attacked 
the city, and on the night of the 14th a battle took place near 
Yelisavetgrad between several thousand Grigorievists and the 
Soviet detachment. 

When the sailors and bolsheviks drove the Grigorievists out 
of the city, the latter threatened to return and massacre all 
Jews, so that the Jewish population knew that if the city was 
taken this time there was no escape from a pogrom. The Soviet 


detachment of Georgians and sailors resisted for only some 
hours. Seeing that the enemy was superior, the Georgians re- 
treated and succeeded in escaping towards Odessa, while the 
sailors went over to Grigoriev's side and together with him 
entered the city on the morning of May 15. Immediately the 
Grigoriev forces opened the prison, let out all the prisoners, 
and then dispersed about the city in groups of five or ten and 
began to smash shops and houses. They were soon joined by 
Russian inhabitants of the outskirts, market women, tramps 
and hooligans, and also educated black-hundreders. In the mass 
of excited people you could find officials, teachers, etc. The 
local Social-Democratic newspaper "Our Life" (Nasha Zhizn) 
a few days after the pogrom came out openly reproaching the 
workmen for the fact that even they took part in the pogrom. 
Compatriots who hid in the cellar of the house where I live 
heard some one playing excellently on the piano for more than 
an hour while the house was being wrecked. 

On the first day the pogrom was carried on by the soldiers, 
sailors, and inhabitants of the place. On the second and third 
days the city was filled with peasants from the neighboring 
villages, who came to plunder and carry off Jewish property. 
The murders were committed principally by soldiers, sailors and 
criminals ; the rest looted. They operated as if on definite plans. 
A group of soldiers armed with rifles would come up to a house 
or shop, break the doors or windows, enter the house, kill the 
Jews who did not succeed in hiding or hid ineffectively, and 
take away everything of value money, gold, and silver. When 
the soldiers left the premises a wild mob would break in and 
plunder the whole property, not excluding furniture and the 
heaviest articles, which were then and there loaded on peasants' 
carts and taken away to the outskirts of the city and to the 
villages. What could not be taken or carted away was smashed 
and destroyed. Whirlwinds of feathers from feather-beds and 
pillows blew around the streets. The soldiers, who devoted them- 
selves principally to killing and looting, hunted around in gar- 
rets and cellars, hauled out the Jews from wherever they could, 
demanded money, and then, having got money, shot them on 
the spot. If no money was produced they killed both men and 
women. Through all the streets ran gangs crying, "Kill the 
Jews, kill the communists." The Jewish population hid in gar- 
rets, cellars, barns, and in the houses of Christian acquaintances. 
Very many Christian householders concealed Jews and saved 
thousands of them; for the pogromists did not touch a single 
Christian house or shop. On the Christian houses were depicted 


crosses, and saints' images were set in the windows; or the 
people stood in the doors of their own houses, and the thugs 
ran past them. 

The pogrom began May 15 in the morning. On the same day 
the trade union of metal-workers and the president of the 
Peasants' Assembly, which was being held at that time in Yeli- 
savetgrad, went to the station and demanded of the command- 
ant of the Grigoriev forces on the front, Pavlov, that he im- 
mediately stop the pogrom. But neither on the 15th nor on 
the following day, the 16th, were they listened to. They were 
even warned that in case of a revolt of the population against 
the Grigorievists the city would be shelled with cannon. On 
the second day towards evening a "revolutionary committee" 
which had been organized in the city, and which consisted of 
the trade union of metal-workers and a representative of the 
Peasants' Assembly, succeeded in organizing a small detachment 
of the most class-conscious workers to defend the town; sev- 
eral automobile loads of armed workmen were sent through 
the town, and the plunderers stopped their activities. The 
pogrom died down and the Jews began to show themselves on 
the streets. On the third day, May 17, it was quiet, but about 
10 A.M. the thugs, thinking that the city-guard was weak, and 
also the soldiers and sailors, finding out that the order to stop 
the pogrom had not come from the commander of the forces, 
again began to plunder and kill. Since by this time almost the 
whole city was already plundered, the soldiers devoted them- 
selves chiefly to killing Jews. Those who had come out of their 
hiding-places on the second day did not succeed in hiding as 
well on the third day as on the first, and, consequently, the 
quantity of victims on the third day was particularly large. 
Whole families were slaughtered; neither old men nor infants 
in arms were spared. The mob ran around the city in throngs 
and finished smashing up houses and shops. 

The Metal-workers Union and the Peasants' Assembly again 
asked the commander on the front, Pavlov, to stop the horrors. 
This time, at last, on the evening of the third day, they suc- 
ceeded. That evening a proclamation was pasted up, which be- 
gan: "I have listened to the representatives of the workmen 
and peasants, and have decided immediately to stop the devasta- 
tion of industrial life." 

The pogrom ended. The Grigorievists returned to the station, 
the robbers disappeared, and it became quiet in the town. For 
three days anarchy reigned in the city, since the Grigorievist 
commanders took no measures, while the revolutionary com- 


mittee had no power to take measures without the Grigorievists. 
On the 21st or 22nd four Soviet regiments came to Yelisavet- 
grad from Odessa, and after a brief exchange of shots the 
Grigorievists withdrew to Znamenka. The city was occupied 
by the Soviet Voznesensky regiment; the other three regiments 
continued to pursue the enemy. 

With the entry of the Soviet forces the Jewish population 
came out of its places of refuge, but it was impossible to return 
to their houses, since all the Jewish houses had been . plundered, 
all the furniture and beds taken away or smashed to bits, all 
the articles of the households stolen, so that there was nothing 
to sleep on, cover oneself with at night, or cook dinner with. 
In Yelisavetgrad the number of Jewish inhabitants was reckoned 
at 50,000, and they were all left beggars. In the city there had 
been some provisions, but most of them had been stolen, and 
what remained with the Christian co-operatives was enough for 
a week. The flour in the mills had been plundered at the time 
of the pogrom; in several mills the communicating cords had 
been removed, so that they could not function. The population 
was utterly ruined and condemned to extinction. Commerce 
was destroyed, and from this the peasant population also suf- 
fered. Out of hundreds of stores there were only five counted 
which happened to be spared by accident. 

On the day after the pogrom they began to take the bodies 
to hospitals and cemeteries. All the hospitals were filled with 
the dead, who were reckoned at two thousand people. The 
Grigorievists ordered burial immediately after the pogrom and 
forbade anyone to go to the cemetery except people needed to 
dig the graves. An accurate count is still going on at the pres- 
ent time, since, when I left Yelisavetgrad on May 27, they were 
still finding bodies of the dead in various places. 

Aid in all shapes and forms is necessary. If aid is not fur- 
nished to the city of Yelisavetgrad, the entire Jewish population 
will perish. This is no exaggeration. People have no change 
of linen and no possibility of getting it, so that unless help is 
furnished the appearance of contagious diseases is unavoidable. 
There are very few provisions, and the peasants do not come 
to market, since there is nothing for them to buy; there is no 
importation of provisions, and famine has already begun. There 
remain thousands of widows and orphans; there are wounded, 
and they must be treated. 

In Yelisavetgrad a committee of aid for the suffering popula- 
tion has been formed ; it consists of Christian and Jewish persons 
in public life. This committee empowered me to use every 


means to get aid. In the name of this committee and in the 
name of the fifty thousand Jewish population, I appeal to you 
for immediate assistance. I cannot set definite limits. The 
losses are reckoned in hundreds of millions. It is necessary 
immediately to send underclothes and other garments, pro- 
visions, and medical aid. It is necessary to establish feeding 
stations, to treat the wounded, and, if possible, to prevent the 
fearful plague of an epidemic from arising. 

From eight to ten thousand Jewish families are ruined. Ten 
to fifteen feeding stations are required for the feeding of ten 
to fifteen thousand people. The necessary medicines, band- 
ages, and medical personnel are on hand in the city. For the 
first about ten thousand suits of underwear for men and 
women are necessary. 

Pogrom of May 16-20, 1919 

Preface to the Material Collected by I. G. Tzlfrlnovlch; by the 
District Teacher Kliiger, July 15, 1919 

From the material evidence collected offhand, and still more 
from the valuable statements of persons who were utterly 
unwilling to furnish written testimony (through fear of re- 
venge, since their testimony involves a whole series of people, 
persons in public life, and organizations, which are now flour- 
ishing and peacefully functioning), from all this evidence it 
is clear that the pogrom was planned in advance and carried 
out according to definite plans. There are strong suspicions 
that the people of Cherkassy, who took direct part in the mur- 
ders and robberies and at the same time concealed in their 
houses many Jewish neighbors, did this with the definite pur- 
pose of rehabilitating themselves afterwards in regard to their 
activity in the pogrom. All Russian servants in service with 
Jews left their places before Grigoriev's entrance, evidently 
being informed of what was coming. Peasant women and city 
market-wives, who arrived at the market to hang around even 
on May 12, complained, saying: "They said it would start at 
two o'clock, and here it is almost three and nothing doing I 
Maybe they have postponed it." 

Following the course of the massacre it is easy to establish 
the fact that almost one and the. same gang, without demanding 
money or ransom, and without looting, kept on slaying and 


shooting, as if it had taken for its aim the wiping out of a 
certain fixed quantity of Jews. In this group was Fedorovsky, a 
degenerate with earrings in his ears, a human beast, who had 
no use for money. In this same group also "worked" some of 
the "intellectuals," who had succeeded in dividing among them- 
selves money from the treasury and consequently had no need 
for more, but did their work as "amateurs." The killing was 
done by orders; such orders were issued, or given orally, by 
Grigoriev, as follows from the following scene. In one place 
the stony heart of Fedorovsky shuddered, and he was on the 
point of sparing his victim. "You forget, sir, Ataman Grigo- 
riev's orders," one of his companions in arms reminded Fedo- 
rovsky, who had almost forgotten his role; and the Jew was 

Other similar gangs, but without leadership, added loot- 
ing to their primary duty of killing "Jew-communists" and Jews 
in general. From these it was possible to purchase safety, unless 
there were local people among them ; the latter, fearing to be 
recognized afterwards, put an end to their victims without 
mercy. After them came the "manufacturists," as Grigoriev 
himself called his soldiers. These were "commissary"-soldiers, 
collecting household supplies. The majority of them wore red 
bands or ribbons. After these came "marauders" local inhabi- 
tants, servants, boys and girls, who grabbed and carried off all 
that was still left. The Jews' own servants came and they 
knew very well where everything was, and even where anything 
was hidden; for you could not hide things from servants who 
had been in service five to eight years. However, we must be 
just to the servants. There were some among them who 
guarded their employers and their property with their own 
breasts. There was even one who was killed along with her 
employers. Except for the first gang, which did its work calmly, 
I should have said, mocking their victims in every possible 
way (in one place Fedorovsky offered to grant his victim life 
in exchange for his daughter's honor), all the other gangs were 
in a terrible hurry, worked in haste, and were very cowardly; 
they were afraid to go into cellars and garrets. This, perhaps, 
explains the absence of violations of women. They were afraid, 
apparently, because the force of soldiers consisted of not more 
than 300 men in all, and it is said by those who were at the 
station and at the cars that they kept running away every couple 
of hours to the station of Smela, because the bolsheviki were 
firing on the town very often and they feared an attack. It 
can be said with confidence that 150 to 200 men could have 


driven them out of town, and that the two hundred or two of 
Jewish youths who perished on the left flank in covering the 
retreat of the bolsheviki would have been sufficient, if disposed 
to advantage, to have saved the whole city from the frightful 

On Friday, May 16, when the Grigorievists began to press 
upon Cherkassy, and the bolsheviki, not relying on their units, 
began to evacuate their establishments, they started in to 
mobilize the trade unions and dispatch them to protect and 
cover their retreat. On the left flank were Jews, namely in the 
center of that wing. There a butchery in the literal sense of 
the word took place. Almost without rifles, without cartridges, 
without defense, and with a flank uncovered and not connected 
with the general staff and the other units, they were hurled 
to the attack, surrounded by Grigorievists, and almost all killed. 

To complete the picture it will not be superfluous to add that 
from Friday the 16th to Wednesday the 21st the city was under 
unintermittent fire, bombs kept tearing over the houses, and only 
for a few hours at night the cannonade ceased. The Jews had 
to hide both from the bombs, and from the bandits; they went 
from garret to cellar and from cellar to garret. Even now, 
when I shut my eyes, I see before me those men, women and 
children, rushing around in frantic fear, like a frightened herd 
of sheep, not knowing where to take refuge, where it would be 
best. They have just got up into the garret. They are afraid 
there. They clearly hear the hissing of the bombs. They rush 
to the close, dark, gloomy cellar. There they are still more 
afraid. Their minds are numb with the cries and wailing of 
children. The cannonade quiets down. All drag themselves out 
of the cellar into the yard and again up into the garret. And 
this continues for five long, long days and nights. And then 
. . . then the sight of the killed, lying about the streets, torn 
corpses, pools of blood. Then the common graves dug, the 
recognition of one's family and friends by buttons, by marks, 
since the bodies were mutilated. The funeral . . . and lamen- 
tation, long, incessant lamentation of the whole great city. 

It is comprehensible that many of those who were saved 
by some miracle, who lived through all those horrors, are not in 
a condition to give any sort of testimony. Furthermore very 
many of the eyewitnesses immediately, as soon as it was possible, 
fled pellmell, only to get away as far as possible from the 
nightmare. This and the time-limit of the work explain the 
insufficiency of the officially reported material evidence. Very 
many request that no publicity be given to their testimony. 


The photographs are monotonous, as groans and wails are 
monotonous. Bodies and tombs, tombs and bodies. And on 
them is a fearful inscription, an inscription which gives no 
rest: "Why and wherefore?" 

/. Testimony of the ex-President of the Municipal Council, 
V. Petrov 

I have lived in Cherkassy about six years and know little 
about life in the town in the past, but I know it very well for 
the past two and a half years. In spite of its favorable geo- 
graphical position and nearness to large centers, Odessa and 
Kiev, the composition of the city's population and the general 
basis of life create the impression of an uncultivated provincial 
city. The most numerous group of the population is the petty 
bourgeois (meshchane} ; small householders, renting pieces of 
city land and transferring it to peasants of neighboring villages, 
kitchen-gardeners, formerly construction-workers in the building 
of the railroads, and men who work for small contractors ; some 
workmen in the local factories and industries. These groups, 
centering about the orthodox parishes, at the beginning of the 
revolution of 1917, played the part of a constant and hostile 
opposition to the Executive Committee of social organizations, 
the democratic council (Duma), and the Council (Soviet) of 
Workmen's Delegates. However, at the time when the Bolshe- 
viki came into power (in February, 1918 and 1919), out of these 
groups there had split off some communists and sympathizers 
with them, who understood the war upon the bourgeoisie and 
the speculators as a punishment of the Jews. 

At difficult moments in the state of provisions, in turn at the 
shops, at the bakeries, and in the crowds that indulged in un- 
authorized visits of search while looking for provisions, it was 
always possible to hear anti-Semitic opinions and expressions. 
But, nevertheless, during a whole series of changes of govern- 
ment from the Rada to the Bolsheviki, from the Bolsheviki to 
the Germans, from the Hetman to the Directory, from the 
Directory to the Soviet regime the tense atmosphere expressed 
itself in night robberies and attacks on the streets, but did not 
take on more serious forms. Though it must be said that in the 
period after the occupation of Cherkassy by the Petlurist forces 
(December- January, 1919), the actions of the guerrilla soldiers 
in the way of general searches, with removal of articles declared 
to belong to the state, and with arrests of "profiteers," took 
place by preference in Jewish streets from house to house. 


And the representatives of the Ukrainian authorities, both 
military and civil, treated the population's complaints and the 
municipal council's protests at this as something of no conse- 
quence, something that had its explanation, and a very natural 
one in their opinion, in the elemental frame of mind of the 
masses; they thought people were too much excited over such 
phenomena. This view of the local administrative authorities 
was entirely accepted by the militia, which in the period of the 
Soviet regime had encouraged the anti-Semitic feeling in the 
population, because of the setting of the bourgeoisie to forced 
labor, the searches for provisions, etc. The experiments of 
local communists had great significance as propaganda by "ac- 
tion"; such things as the taunting of the bourgeoisie when they 
brought in the levies, the beating of bourgeois hostages in 
prison by local communists, the shooting of "green" hostages 
from among Christian counter-revolutionaries taken at the be- 
ginning of the movement, the shooting of ten of them after 
the attack, which was not investigated afterwards, upon the 
assistant to the President of the Executive Committee (who 
was wounded in the finger), the arrest of two local clergymen, 
etc. The dark reactionary petty-bourgeois masses who even 
before then were pervaded with anti-Semitic feelings, had prac- 
tical lessons in an attitude of levity towards human life and 
in the impunity of bloody experiments. 

And so, what did not happen in Cherkassy throughout the 
series of earlier changes of government, but what the people in 
public life in the city (of whom there are very few) all the time 
expected with alarm, dreaded, and tried to avoid this happened 
on the second entry into the city of Grigoriev's gangs, on May 16. 

The chronological order of events preceding the pogrom was 
as follows. After the Grigoriev forces had occupied the station 
of Bobrinsky and after the treachery of part of the forces sent 
by the Executive Committee to fight with them at the station of 
Belozeria, on the evening of May 10 the Executive Committee 
gave orders for all the Soviet institutions to abandon the city. 
But when the latter with their necessary things, property, and 
money arrived at the station, got loaded into a train, and started 
off, the train was fired upon and had to stop. A meeting was 
held, after which a delegation from the garrison was sent out 
to Smela to the Grigorievists ; there were attempts at the station 
to deal roughly with communistic Jews. The members of the 
Soviet institutions were compelled to return to town. On the 
next day at twelve o'clock the members of the Executive Com- 
mittee, with a detachment of the Extraordinary Committee 


(Chrezvychaika) , and a small military detachment, left the city 
on horseback and in carts, going across the strategic bridge to- 
wards Zolotonosha. Soon after this the city was occupied with- 
out opposition by Grigorievist guerrilla soldiers, with a detach- 
ment. The commander of the mobilization division of the Soviet 
military committee was made commander of the garrison. 
On the eleventh and twelfth the Grigorievist forces 
entered Cherkassy. These days were marked by organized at- 
tacks on a number of Jewish dwellings. Soldiers under the 
command of officers, on the pretense of searching, plundered and 
carried off clothing, money, and other things, taunting the 
Jews and calling them both bourgeois, and communists or 
bribers of communists. The feeling on the streets in these days 
was agitated; groups of petty bourgeois kept collecting, expect- 
ing something; people talked of retaliation for the cruelties of 
the Extraordinary, for the shooting of hostages, for the arrest 
of priests, etc. On the eleventh I met on the main street a 
group of Ukrainian agents, who came to me and said they were 
alarmed by the state of feeling in the city, that they wanted to 
prevent a pogrom, but did not know how to go about it. I 
advised them to stay around the headquarters at the station and 
persuade the commanding powers to restrain the soldiers from 
excesses in the city. The Ukrainians went to the station, but 
the results of their conversations with the general staff are 
unknown to me. On the morning of the 13th a Soviet detach- 
ment with some of the members of the Executive Committee 
returned to Cherkassy. Apparently the Grigoriev forces aban- 
doned the city during the night before. But towards evening 
on the 16th a hasty evacuation began. I know that the Executive 
Committee proposed to the trade unions to organize city guards, 
that a committee was appointed, but received no arms or cart- 
ridges from the Executive Committee, since there were not 
enough even for the troops. Some of the members of the 
unions, mainly mechanics (needle makers, shoe makers and 
others), went with the troops to the front, where they fought 
on the left flank near the sugar factory. When they retired 
on this flank the workmen were killed almost to a man 
by the local population. Towards evening on the 16th the 
Grigoriev forces broke into the town. The soldiers dis- 
persed about the streets and began shooting at crossways, 
looting and killing in houses, and plundering in shops. 
The local petty bourgeois, women and children, readily took 
part in the plundering, pointed out Jewish houses to the soldiers, 
etc. Late in the evening the pogrom quieted down, but it broke 


out again with renewed force on the next day, the 17th of 
May. Bands of soldiers, conducted by volunteer guides, went 
through the streets from house to house asking: "Who lives 
here, Jews or Russians?" and, according to the answer and its 
plausibility, either went past or entered the houses and yards, 
killed the men if they did not succeed in ransoming themselves, 
looted, and then went on to the next house, leaving the con- 
tinuation of the work begun to a crowd of women and boys. I 
saw soldiers, evidently sent out from the station, hurrying along ; 
they said they were allowed to go into the city until 8 A.M. ; and, 
in fact, about that hour I saw soldiers collecting at the Executive 
Committee's office, and then getting on their horses and depart- 
ing in the direction of the station. But the pogrom did not 
stop; groups of soldiers, and bands of local inhabitants, small 
householders and workmen, roamed over the city and continued 
to slay and pillage. It was mainly the Jewish men that they 
killed, but in a number of houses and apartments they killed 
women and children and even entire families. By night and 
during the shelling of the town by the communists the pogrom 
temporarily stopped. On the 18th and 19th there were more 
cases of removal of Jewish men to the station, where most of 
them were shot. On the 19th the pogrom began to subside, but 
on the 20th the city again experienced an alarm and the pogrom 
threatened to break out again with new force in connection 
with the spreading of the news among the soldiers that on the 
evening of the 19th a soldier had been killed by a number of 
Jews, who offered resistance when he tried to shoot them. In 
connection with this there began searches along the Krasnaya 
street and further throughout the city. Whole wards were 
surrounded by the soldiery and only through the agency of 
negotiations between the Committee of Safety and the general 
staff did they succeed in scattering the ever-increasing and in- 
furiated bands of soldiers. Towards evening the murders and 
robberies ceased. On the morning of the 21st there began a 
violent bombardment of the city by the Soviet troops, after 
which during the day the town was occupied by them. 

Already on May 17th a group of local people in public life, 
mostly former members of the municipal council, tried to 
organize a delegation to go to the station to the staff of the 
Grigorievist detachment with the object of persuading them to 
call off the soldiers from the city and put a stop to the killing 
and pillaging. But on account of the repeated bombardment, 
and because there was no previously established center, they 
did not succeed in going to the station. On the 17th the dele- 


gation met, and on the 18th it got to the station, using a first-aid 
wagon for the trip. At the station the delegation was received 
by the commander of the detachment and by several officers 
of the staff. Uvarov said he was busy with exclusively military 
matters. The staff officers said that all necessary measures for 
the protection of the town were being taken a horse-patrol was 
going through the town and dispersing the plunderers. One of 
the officers suggested that the delegation should attend to the 
removal of the dead bodies. The position of the delegation was 
very difficult; on the one hand, asking for the withdrawal of 
the troops from town; on the other hand, for the sending of 
reliable patrols to guard the city. The main thing was that 
there was no common language. One of the staff officers, for 
instance, openly declared that the Christian population need not 
be alarmed; they were robbing and murdering only Jews. The 
delegation returned to the city with no real accomplishment. 
On the 19th a more extensive conference of a group of 
local inhabitants was held in the court of the municipal council. 
An "initiative" group of three persons was elected, plans were 
started for the establishment of a militia, and a summons was 
issued for a meeting on the next day of trade unions and of 
the population in general to elect a committee of safety and take 
measures to re-establish life in the city. The "initiative" group 
printed a short circular addressed to the population, hunted up 
the assistant commander of militia and the commander of the 
first region and proposed to them that they make it their busi- 
ness to re-establish the militia and postal service. On the same 
day this group again went to the staff at the station, and re- 
ceived permission to summon a meeting and establish militia, 
and again discussed the situation in the city. Reciprocal aid was 
planned between the militia and the patrols, and the staff prom- 
ised to co-operate with the committee in protecting the town 
and re-establishing normal life. The group proposed that the 
staff issue an order to stop the unauthorized searchings, pillag- 
ing, and shooting, and to control the soldiers who were wander- 
ing about the town. The staff consented to issue such an order 
and asked the group to prepare a draft of it. The draft was 
prepared and sent to the staff next day. The latter made im- 
portant additions at the beginning and end, and Order No. 1 
was printed and pasted up in the city. On the next day, May 
20, an assembly of the inhabitants was held, which elected a 
committee of safety of five persons. The make-up of the as- 
sembly was very mixed ; there were few laborers ; largely small 
bourgeois, and groups of intellectuals. The membership of the 


committee elected, in spite of the mixed character of the assem- 
bly, proved pretty good. The committee went to work immedi- 
ately upon the conclusion of the assembly. The main part of its 
work consisted in attempts to intervene in the activities of the 
gangs of soldiers. Two serious efforts were made on that day. 
A telephone message came from Dicker's drugstore that a 
detachment of soldiers had come there with an order from the 
staff to carry out a search, whereby during the search a rifle and 
a revolver were found in an apartment adjoining the drug- 
store. The soldiers were for arresting all the people in the 
drugstore. Immediately the committee despatched the vice-com- 
mander of militia and Uspensky, a member of the committee, 
who succeeded in explaining to the soldiers that the rifle and 
revolver had been left in the apartment by the vice-commander 
of the cantonal militia, who lived in the apartment, and who had 
gone out into the country. The soldiers departed, but after some 
time came back again and took away to the station all who were 
in the drugstore, both attendants and wounded. When we in the 
committee heard of this, I with Uspensky, member of the com- 
mittee, went to the station, and there in our presence all those 
who had been taken were called from the prison car and re- 
leased. At the same time Uvarov explained that the arrest had 
taken place on the ground of a soldier's report that in Dicker's 
drugstore was concealed an armed detachment of Jews with 
supplies of weapons, cartridges, and machine guns, waiting for 
a chance to attack the Grigorievists. Here at the station we 
were informed that 36 prisoners had been freed at the staff 
headquarters up to the 20th. Here we also saw whole groups 
of Jews coming to the station, worn out with ceaseless and 
anxious hiding in cellars and dugouts; and here after a brief 
questioning permits were issued giving them the right to live 
freely in the city. The second serious case was on Krasnaya 
street and elsewhere, in connection with the searches instituted 
because of the killing of a soldier by some Jews on the evening 
before. Around this region and in the neighboring streets 
ever-increasing bands of soldiers began to wander. After un- 
successful attempts to stop the murders and searches by talking 
with the soldiers, we communicated to headquarters about it and 
asked that the bands be dispersed. The staff sent a detachment 
with an officer at its head into the city, and with some difficulty 
the detachment succeeded in dispersing the bands. But many 
of those who were seized in this district and taken to the station 
were killed upon the hasty retreat of the Grigorievists next 
day. The rest of the work of the committee consisted in hunt- 


ing up carts for the department of health to remove the corpses, 
co-operation with the hospitals in getting wood and flour, and 
attempts to re-establish the public institutions, which attempts 
did not succeed, owing to frequent bombardments. 

I know that besides the delegations from the population a 
delegation from the railroad workers also went to the Grigorievist 
general staff to protest against the murders and shoot- 
ings. When I was at the station I saw, among the military, 
workmen, students, and gymnasium boys. I heard from third 
parties that when they were about to shoot a Jewish gymnasium 
student, named Bahr, at the station, several gymnasium students 
among the Grigorievists ran to the officer who had charge of 
the shooting and tried to persuade him to let their comrade off. 
But the officer proposed then that one of them should take 
Bahr's place. No one cared to do this, and Bahr was shot. I 
know that there was a series of cases in the city in which the 
intervention of Christians, especially from the common people, 
stopped or prevented murders. There were quite a good many 
Christians who hid Jews in their houses, cellars and barns, but 
there were also cases of refusal to hide and protect them. In 
trying to explain to myself the attitude of the workmen during 
these terrible days, I received the impression from their repre- 
sentatives, from exchanges of opinion on the subject in the 
Soviet of trade unions, that the masses of workmen were indif- 
ferent in feeling, and that the worst elements among them 
took part in the pillaging and even in the murders. Those 
who had been connected with the party activities of the com- 
munists withdrew with them, or hid. But there were among 
the workmen some who, blinded by Grigoriev's manifesto 
("Universal"), at the same time genuinely did not want to see 
the return of the Soviet regime, which, because of its ranks of 
guards, the procrastination of the Extraordinary Committee, the 
inaccessibility of the commissars, and owing to its distrust of 
the masses of workers, was always too remote from them and 
in no way dependent on them. 

Ex-President of the Municipal Council of Cherkassy, 


APPENDIX I. Circular to the population on the necessity of 
an assembly for the election of a committee of safety; prom- 
ulgated in the city on May 19. 

"Citizens 1 The population of Cherkassy is stunned by the 
horrible occurrences which have taken place during the last few 


days in the city. All the inhabitants are in anguish and in fear 
for their lives. In the environs military operations are going 
on, and, owing to that, the activities of previously existing in- 
stitutions have ceased. It is necessary to care for the guarding 
of the city, and for removing the bodies of the slain ; it is neces- 
sary to have a care for the sale of bread, for keeping up the 
water-supply, etc. Therefore a group of persons, on the request 
of various institutions and citizens, summons all to help in the 
common cause. All citizens who can help in the common cause 
by deed and counsel, and especially representatives of all in- 
stitutions and professional organizations, are requested to meet 
on Tuesday at eight o'clock local time, at the Town Hall, to 
decide what measures should be immediately adopted, and 
who should be entrusted with the conduct of the city's affairs 
and the care for the needs and defense of the population hence- 
forth, until such time as the fighting shall cease and a govern- 
ment be organized. 

"Citizens ! Preserve order, and help each one in establishing 
peace among the population. Do not spread abroad false ru- 
mors, but live peaceably, by honest labor. It is time to under- 
stand this and everyone should persuade his neighbor of it 
that robberies and violence must not be permitted." 

A true copy : Ex.-Pres. of the Council, 

APPENDIX II. Order No. 1 

"I, Ataman Uvarov, commander of the guerrilla detachments, 
order the population of the city of Cherakssy and the surround- 
ing villages to be quiet. All who have weapons not registered 
with the guerilla detachments are to surrender them at the staff 
headquarters of the Personal Military Detachment (station of 
Cherkassy) in the course of 24 hours from the day of publi- 
cation of this order. 

Every form of violence, pillaging, murders, unauthorized 
searches, and other disorders are most strictly forbidden. 
Searches and arrests may be made only by order of the staff of 
the Cherkassy garrison. All persons appearing on the streets 
with weapons, and not belonging to the organization of defense 
or the military patrols, will be disarmed and taken to the Per- 
sonal Staff (station of Cherkassy). For disobedience to this 
order the guilty will be exposed to the laws of wartime with all 
rigor, even to execution. 

Citizens 1 Understand that the time for violence and arbi- 
trariness has passed. Come to your senses and each take up his 


honest labor. Do not conceal agitators and others who are 
undermining the authorities. Only by simultaneous common 
endeavor can the government be strong and the life of every 
worker be secure. 

May 20, 1919. The Commander of the group of Cherkassy 
forces, Ataman of the Personal Detachment, UVAROV. . . The 
head of the general staff, ABRAMOV . . . Adjutant FEDOROVSKY. 

II. Testimony of Mariam Dubnikova 

On Saturday morning, May 17, two soldiers entered the house 
of Bielotzerkovsky, next door to ours, and started pillaging. 
Bielotzerkovsky succeeded in hiding. My husband went to them, 
opened the way to them, and tried to reason with them. They 
took away from us money up to 20,000, watches, rings, and 
other things. "But now what's to be done with you?" one of 
them asked my husband. My husband again began to argue 
with them, telling them that he and the others were not com- 
munists. "We aren't after communists, we are after Jews." 
Then they took everybody out in the yard and ordered the men 
separated from the women. A fearful outcry arose, Silber- 
man's wife cried violently. At this moment there burst into 
the yard a gang of forty or fifty men with curses and cries of 
"What are you bawling for?" "They wanted a commune." 
"We'll fix them." Incidentally, one of them noticed an in- 
scription in Jewish on a kindergarten sign, and said to another: 
"Here must be a Bund." Straightway they began to beat and 
torment the men, and took them away, as they told us, "to be 
examined," because there were a great many there and it was 
necessary to find out who they were. On the way to the station 
they took off their clothes and killed them near a dumping 
ground. In the yard a patrol remained, who would not let us 
pass, however much we struggled. When the patrol left, my 
daughter and another girl ran to the station. On the way they 
met Bondarev, who was shocked at what had occurred and con- 
sented to go with them to the station. They went by roundabout 
ways by his direction and on the way counted 28 corpses. At 
the station they asked where the commandant was. They were 
told that he was on the ninth road. They went thither. The 
commandant was not there, but some soldier or other came 
out and when asked if 17 Jews had been brought there replied 
that no such persons had been there. But when my daughter 
started to insist, saying that they had brought them there, he 
replied : "Your staff is in the field." 

Among the 17 slain, whom they found, on the way back 


from the station, were: my husband and son Benjamin, the 
fiscal rabbi Silberman, Bolakhovsky, Kapitanovsky, Vimunsky, 
Vinokur, Polonsky, Eidelman, two Ruthman's, Chernobylsky, 
Bielotzerkovsky, and his son, a boy of 16 years, Brusilovsky, and 
two others unknown to me. 


III. Testimony Given by M. T., Who Was at the Station 

On May 18 at 11 A.M., there burst into the yard of Lurie's 
match factory a band of about 20 men, armed and in military 
uniforms. The first victim of this gang was Simon Antono- 
vich Yakhnis, manager of the factory. The story of*his mur- 
der was told by the soldier B. E. Lurie, who went with them 
to the station. In the yard a bandit met Yakhnis and started 
to load his gun. The other seized the barrel and began to 
plead: "Don't kill me; here is money for you." The soldier 
took the money and killed Yakhnis. M. T., upon being ques- 
tioned, communicated the following facts about himself. 

I was sitting in the cellar. Hearing a voice, I came out and 
saw a soldier. I started to run away. In the yard blocks of 
wood and boards were lying around. I started to run around 
the boards. There I met Lurie, and we began to circle around 
together. About three soldiers met us. "Hands upl" We put 
our hands up, and were searched; they took our money and 
began to load their guns. The workmen and guards came out 
of the factory and asked them not to harm us. Then we were 
surrounded and taken to the station. On the way various gangs 
came up to the soldiers and asked them where they were taking 
us. One of the bandits who met us cried: "Why don't you cut 
off their noses?" On the Smolianskaya street we heard cries: 
a number of bandits were chasing a Jew. He was struck on the 
head with a gun-butt; some one fired, and he fell. The bandits 
rushed at the dead man and began to strike him with sabres. We 
kept going. Outside the city, along the road leading to the 
station, bodies of Jews were lying about. Everywhere were 
traces of blood and brains ; papers and passport books lay around. 
We arrived at the station. I was no longer walking with Lurie, 
who had been taken away somewhere, but they put with me an 
old, tall Jew. We were led to a car. In the car were soldiers 
and a Russian woman with two children. A soldier came up to 
me and began to yell: "You want to rule!" Then the chief of 
staff, Uvarov, inspected my papers ; though he thought they were 
not genuine, he nevertheless decided to spare me. "We were 
not spared, and we shall not spare you; but it is enough for 


the present, we have enough. We shan't be able to dispose of 
the .bodies. Take him home and see to it that you get him home 
alive." We went back. On the way we were stopped many 
times. One bandit on horseback stopped, questioned us, and, 
when he found out the facts, said: "Well, look out, don't kill 
any more, or you will suffer yourselves." 

M. T. 

IV. Testimony of the Son of a Murdered Shoemaker, Simon 
Pogrebizhsky: Israel, Aged 13 

The killing took place on Saturday, May 17, at 10 A.M. 
Four men knocked on the door. It was opened to them. Among 
them was Fedorovsky/ personally known to Israel, and three 
whom he did not know, but who were local people according to 
the statement of neighbors. All those who entered were armed 
with rifles. Two of them were in civilian clothes. They began 
to demand money. Fedorovsky shouted : "If you want to live, 
give me a thousand rubles." This amount was in the house, 
and Simon gave it to them. Then Fedorovsky bade him show 
him the cellar, as he said, in order to hunt for communists. 
The other started. His son Jacob, a gymnasium student of the 
sixth class, fifteen years old, asked: "Can I go, too?" "Why 
not? Come along," said Fedorovsky. As soon as father and 
son entered the cellar they began to load their guns. Under- 
standing what it meant, the unhappy wretches ran down the 
steps and succeeded in slamming the door. Then Fedorovsky 
cried: "If you don't open up, we will kill the children that are 
left in the house." The father opened the door and instantly 
they brought him down in his tracks with shots. Having done 
their job, they returned to the house again, where four children 
were left, of whom the oldest, who told the story, was thirteen, 
the youngest seven. They began to demand more money, threat- 
ening to kill them. There was a little more money in the 
house, which they took; they also carried off the leather that 
was on hand and several other things. They were not satisfied 
with this and demanded money again. The children swore that 
they had no more. Then Fedorovsky seized the child of seven 
by the neck, threw him violently on the floor, and departed. 


V. Testimony of Abram Skenderov 

On Saturday, May 17, at 4 A.M., there was a knocking at our 
house. My son David, 18 years old, opened the door, and four 


soldiers rushed in to the room with the cry: "Communists, 
Jews, just such little fellows were on the front yesterday." 
They began to pillage. Then they stood my son up against a 
wall. He ransomed himself, giving them seven thousand rubles. 
About 12 o'clock another gang knocked once more. David, the 
same son who opened the door before, opened to them. They 
killed him instantly on the spot. Then they ran into the rooms, 
and, without demanding or saying anything, killed in the cor- 
ridor eighteen people, men and women. By accident my son 
Judah escaped ; he was wounded in the hand and fell, and they 
apparently thought he was dead. My other boy, who hid under 
a bed, was killed afterwards, when they began to turn the rooms 
upside down, looking for more Jews. They found him and sent 
15 bullets into him. This boy, named Hesia, was only thirteen 
years old. Among the slain were my wife, Lieba-Reizia, my 
daughter, aged 16, my son David, aged 18, and Boruch, aged 
14; also ten persons of the Ostrovsky family and three strangers. 

For his father: G. A. SHENDEROV. 

VI. Testimony of Isaac Khaimovich Trotzky 

Since Friday around four o'clock we had been hiding with 
our Russian landlady, but towards morning, being afraid, we 
all went into the cellar. There were 23 or 24 of us there, men, 
women, and children. All night long we remained there in 
peace. In the morning a servant came and said that they were 
going to search in the cellar, but that there was no reason for 
us to fear, since they were only searching for communists. A 
little while later four soldiers came and shouted: "Come out!" 
They had evidently been informed that we were hiding, for it is 
impossible to see from above what is going on in the cellar. 
We began to come out. My brother Benzion and his family 
went out first, then my nephew Zania Trotzky, after him Smyl- 
ansky with his wife, daughter, and sister. Then Joseph Topo- 
liansky with his wife and children, after him the barber Berman 
with his wife and child. The last were Volodarsky, myself, my 
wife and father. We had not had time to get upstairs when a 
shot rang out, we were enveloped in smoke, and the student 
Volodarsky, who went out ahead of us, rolled into the cellar. 
Then we did not go up, but hid in one of the apartments of the 
cellar, from which we heard the shooting. They killed all the 
men, after going over them all and after accepting ransom from 
them. After this one of the bandits came to the cellar and cried 
out: "Comrades, there must be Jews still in the cellar." His 


comrades responded to the cry and came down and began to 
search the cellar, lighting matches one after another. They 
went over two apartments, and came into the apartment where 
we sat, pressing close to one another myself, my wife and 
father. One passed around the apartment with a match so close 
to me that it burned my face. "No one here." From nervous 
excitement we sat in the cellar more than an hour, motionless 
as stone. Then at last we heard the groans and cries of my 
nephew: "Uncle, help!" With difficulty we succeeded in finding 
a physician and took him to a hospital, where he died two days 


VII. Testimony of the Midwife Bela Moshenskaia 

On Saturday, May 17, at half-past four A.M., the Moshensky 
family heard a knock on the front door. No one of the family 
answered the knock. After a few minutes they heard steps in 
the blind passage. About fifteen men rushed into the room, all 
armed with rifles and sabres, with cries of "Where are the 
men? Give us the men!" We answered: "There aren't any 
men." There were in the house old Moshensky, aged 72, his 
wife, two daughters and two small children. "Give us money." 
They were given all the money there was in cash, about five 
thousand. The bandits took the money and began to take away 
watches and to pick up articles of value. "Give us gold." The 
women swore that they had no gold, that they were poor 
people. "You lie, you Jew, you lie. Give us gold. Put him 
against the wall, against the wall." The old folks began to weep 
before them, to plead with them: "Dear friends, spare us, let 
us live, we have lived so many years, let us die in peace. Dear 
comrades, don't hurt us." In reply to this they struck the old 
woman on the head with a sabre, and she rolled over on the 
floor, bathed in blood; the old man they struck in the side with 
a sabre, and he fell on a chair dead. But this did not satisfy 
them. They rushed at the dead man and began to beat him up 
with gun-butts. "You lie, Jew, you are pretending." When the 
dead man's children began to wail, they rushed at them and 
began to beat them with gun-butts and sabres; by good luck 
none of them was seriously injured. The bandits took the things 
and departed. On the next day a bandit appeared. When 
he asked who lived there, he was told that the owner had been 
killed, his wife seriously wounded, and only one daughter was 
left. "Where is she then? Why is she hiding? Never mind, 


we'll kill them all, if not to-day then to-morrow, all to the very 


VIII. Testimony of G. Krasnov 

Saturday morning there came to us several armed men, led 
by the ataman Uvarov. They entered from the blind passage. 
In one of the apartments (belonging to neighbors) some sol- 
diers arrested N. Krasnov and brought him to us. The family 
began to plead with Uvarov to let him go, to which Uvarov 
replied: "I am an intelligent man and shall do no harm to him. 
We shall simply verify some documents and let him go." The 
soldier conducting Krasnov, under the influence of the plead- 
ings, began to waver, and turned to Uvarov: "Mr. Ataman, 
how about it?" "I said, take him along." At this time Uvarov, 
after a search and examination of another brother, a pharma- 
cist, who was with difficulty saved by an acquaintance whom 
they took for a Christian, rested for several minutes and sat 
down at the table and drank some milk. They went out, taking 
Krasnov with them. They did not touch money or goods. 
Uvarov took Krasnov to the Executive Committee and there 
shot him with his own hand. This is narrated by the keeper 
of the courtyard of the Executive Committee. At the same 
time Fedorovsky brought in Garelik, Boguslavsky and Garnitz- 
sky, and they also were shot at the same place. The keeper of 
the courtyard of the Executive Committee buried all four of 


IX. Testimony of G. Ukrainskaia 

On Saturday, May 17, at four A.M., a band of thirty men 
surrounded the house of those who were killed and began to 
knock at the doors, from the front gate and from the side 
towards the courtyard. The doors were opened. They started 
to search everyone and to take articles and money. Then they 
said to the old man: "Come along." They led him out to the 
front passage and shot him. From the other door they led 
out Brusilovsky, searched him, took all the things that he had 
on his person, and said to him : "Go in peace." But he had not 
had a chance to go two paces when they sent a bullet into his 
back, and he fell without a sound. Three hours later, bandits 
came to them again. The women who were left in the 


barn saw how the neighbors' servants were stealing their 
property. After a time they came out. The servants saw 
it and ran up to the bandits who were passing by, say- 
ing (in Ukrainian): "The Jewess saw us taking things; come 
and kill them, for if you go away they will put us in prison." 
The bandits rushed into the house looking for the women. 
Brusilovskaia ran into the garden ; they ran after her. She 
started to plead with them: "Comrades, my husband has been 
killed; three orphans are left. I am in such a position how 
can I hurt anyone? I beg you not to deprive my children of 
their mother." "They'll be all right, your Jew brats; shut upl" 
And they killed hej. The bandits found Ukrainskaia at the 
wicket-gate, led her to a wall and started to load their guns. It 
turned out there were no more bullets. All but one went for 
more bullets. The remaining one waited for a time for his 
comrades. They apparently were detained somewhere. The 
bandit got tired of waiting, swore, and went away. 


X. Testimony of M. Narodnitzkaia 

At 5 P.M. on May 16 the gangs began to break into the 
houses in this court. They came and went, demanded money, 
and stole goods. They took the men's clothes off. Then all 
those who lived in this court went into the yard of the Provin- 
cial Hospital, which bordered on their court. They had not had 
time to get into the yard when the same bands began to appear 
there. Apparently some of the Russian neighbors told them 
that Jews were hiding here. L. Narodnitzky and his wife saw 
the superintendent of the hospital and two sisters coming out 
of the hospital. They ran to them and implored them to hide 
them. They refused. At this time several bandits came up to 
L. Narodnitzky : "Come along to the station." His wife implored 
them to let him go. They quieted her : "It's all right, don't be 
afraid. We will just verify his documents and let him go right 
away." His wife went with him. All the way she kept 
beseeching them: "Let us go; take what you like. We live 
right near here. Come along with us, we will give you all our 
money." They replied to her: "You may go, but we will verify 
his documents and then let him go." Thus they led us to the 
small bridge near the Polish cemetery. There another band 
was waiting for them. "We are bringing a communist," they 
cried to them. (The man had never belonged to any party.) 
The wretches understood what was in store for them and again 
began to implore them to let them go. They fell on their knees 


and swore that they had never belonged to any party. Then 
the bandits brushed aside the woman, shouting: "Shut up, if 
you don't want your eyes gouged out." The man they threw 
to the ground and killed him with shots. The woman began 
to cry terribly. They said to her: "There's no use in crying 
now, go along." She went, weeping and crying along the street. 
Some bands met her and beat her with gun-butts. They beat 
her head and face. She does not remember what happened 
afterwards. She came to in the Provincial Hospital; she does 
not remember whether she went there herself or was taken 


XI. Testimony of Abram Safian 

This happened on Friday, May 16, at half-past twelve at 
night. There was a knock at the door. I did not open. There 
were more violent knocks. "Who is there ?" I asked. "Open ; it 
is soldiers." I opened the door. A gang of fifteen men rushed 
in. "Give us money." I gave them my purse. "To the walll 
Where is the rest of your money?" I pointed out the 
chest. Some ran to the chest, others went to the bedroom, 
where my sick father was lying. "What are you lying there for, 
old Jew?" My father began slowly to get up. One of the ban- 
dits struck him on the head with a sabre. "Don't strike him, 
he is sick, strike me instead." "Don't worry, your turn will 
come, too. Where is your shop? Show it to us." I showed 
them the shop. Some ran into the shop, others were busy with 
the cupboards ; some were with my father, some in the shop. 
The door was open. I ran out and hid. I don't know what 
happened afterwards, but was told that they looked hard for 
me in the yard. They cut my father to pieces in the literal 
sense; we found him under the table in the kitchen. 

XII. Testimony of Gurevich about the Killing of Her Husband 
and Two Sons 

It happened on May 17 at 4 A.M. A gang ran into the yard 
with outcries and shots and began to knock at the door. My 
husband opened to them. They killed him on the spot. Then 
they killed my second son, Samuel. Then they went down into 
the cellar, where my older son Srul was. We began to implore 
him, and my boy, aged 15, took hold of the muzzle of the gun, 
begging the soldier not to shoot. He went away. Afterwards 
he came back, evidently under the influence of some one's direc- 


tions, and killed him, crying: "You are a communist; you want 
a commune." Then they plundered the house. 


XIII. Testimony of M. Ukrainskaia 

Marusia Ukrainskaia, who is very like a Russian in appear- 
ance, was at the station all the time the Grigorievists were in 
Smela. On Friday, May 16, five bandits arrested a certain 
Tyverovsky, a relative of Ukrainskaia, and took him to the 
station. After some time Ukrainskaia also rushed to the station. 
There she passed for a Russian the whole time, and by this 
means succeeded in seeing much of interest. All the soldiers 
to the last man were drunk, and Ukrainskaia did not know 
whom to apply to. One of the railroad men advised her to 
apply to a sailor, who was. in command of some band or other 
(this sailor afterwards shot forty people at the third verst). 
His name was Commander Mozzhukhin, and he asked Ukrain- 
skaia what she wanted. She answered that among the prisoners 
in the car was a neighbor of hers and she was asking in his 
behalf. "Asking for a Jewl What good have they done you?" 
Ukrainskaia began to implore and to say that her neighbor was 
a fine man, that he was not involved in anything, etc., and 
begged that he be freed. "Yes, I can I can shoot, and I can 
pardon. You know I hate Jews terribly, but I will fulfill your 
request ; go and pick out your Jew." At this time at the station 
there was a great deal of shouting, laughter, noise and hubbub. 
This meant that they had brought in looted goods and the 
band was dividing them up. Among the gang Ukrainskaia recog- 
nized boys and girls from the gymnasium of Cherkassy, officers, 
and people who had social standing. All this assembly was 
dancing to the sound of a gramophone. Shouts, tumult, and 
the most unrestrained merriment . . . 

M. Ukrainskaia, an inhabitant of Cherkassy, happened to be 
at the station of Smela, and shared with us her impressions of 
what she saw there. 

XIV. Testimony of One of the Participants in the Battle 
on the Left Flank 

On Thursday, May 15, at dawn, the Soviet forces left the city, 
and in view of the alarming situation on the front, towards 
evening all the party strength in the city was mobilized. Into 
the party ranks entered also, voluntarily, upon the suggestion of 


the operative staff, the workmen of several trade unions. It was 
intended to mobilize on the next day all the organizations in 
which workmen were taken into account; but they were not 
called to arms, because arms were not received in time. It 
should be observed that among these workmen there were, with 
very few exceptions, no Christians, because they obviously 
evaded it; so that the departure for the front of a workmen's 
division almost exclusively composed of Jews caused fresh 
comments among the population, which had already been suf- 
ficiently stirred up by black-hundred officers and pogromists. 

The detachment of Cherkassy occupied on the left flank the 
extreme section of the flank, from the sugar-factory past the 
brick works in the direction towards the station. About 2 P.M. 
on Friday, May 16, the detachment, being in line with the 
detachments of Lokhvitz, Piriatin and others, went into action, 
and, having repulsed the attacks of the Grigorievist lines, drove 
the Grigorievists back to Belozeria. Of the negative aspects of 
the moment must be mentioned the absence of cartridges and 
arms. Many comrades started going without rifles, with noth- 
ing but revolvers, or even with nothing at all. Cartridges soon 
ran out. All these things had been brought up near the city in 
sufficient quantities, but the train was unable to get into the city. 
Further, connections were wholly destroyed; on the defeat of 
the second Soviet regiment, the commanding personnel of which 
went over to the Grigorievists, all technical facilities were seized. 

All these and many other conditions brought it about that the 
right wing and after it the center wavered and fell back. Be- 
cause there were no communications and the lines were inter- 
rupted, the retreat of the first part was not known on the left 
wing, and it held for two or three hours after the right wing 
had broken. Besides this, the more the lines of the left wing 
advanced against the Grigorievists, the less became the distance 
between the two lines; and there came a time when the enemy 
were clearly visible to the writer (at a distance of 100-150 sa- 
zhens). At this period the Grigorievists completely stopped 
firing and stood up at full length; they began to wave their 
swords, and it looked as if they were surrendering. In response 
to the cries of our red soldiers they scattered over the field and 
some of them surrendered, possibly with provocatory intent, be- 
cause they immediately started a violent agitation among the 
red soldiers (the prisoners remained in the lines, since we were 
far from the city and there was no one to take them away). 
This agitation followed the definite theme that the war was 
between brothers, that there was no difference in their aims, that 


only the "Jews and communists" had spread rumors that Makhno 
was coming with a large army, etc. The agitation had success 
among the red soldiers, in spite of the protests of the class- 
conscious ones, and of the entire party and workers' division, 
which continued to fight. The ranks of the Extraordinary 
Committee, perceiving the desire of the enemy to cease firing, 
also rose and went to meet the Grigorievists, waving their swords 
and not firing. But the situation was still such that it seemed 
that the Grigorievists were going to surrender. They, however, 
let them come close up, and then opened furious fire from 
machine guns, etc. This threw confusion into the ranks of the 
Extraordinary Committee, the ranks broke up, and most of 
them were taken prisoners. And when the neighboring part of 
the front gave way, evidently the section of the party and work- 
ers' division was also surrounded. Almost all of them were 
taken prisoners, being surrounded by both infantry and cavalry 
scouts, except those who fell in battle. The rest were driven 
during the retreat to the bridge. The rear of the battlefield 
at the close of the battle was the territory of the sugar- factory, 
all the houses belonging to bourgeois workmen who worked in 
the factory. They all knew of the defeat of the Soviet forces 
before the retreat on the left wing, because, as I said, the Grig- 
orievist forces had entered the city long before. Most of them 
were armed and fired upon the retreating soldiers on their way 
to the bridge across the Dnieper. Others collected in gangs and 
seized them as they withdrew from the position, and killed them 
on the spot with stones, or dragged them from their horses. 
Even boys and women took part. From the thresholds and from 
behind the corners of the houses they fired on the soldiers going 
along the road to the Dnieper. They killed not only Red soldiers, 
but all who looked like Jews. The Jews who were taken in the 
field were immediately shot; the Christians in large numbers 
went over to the Grigorievists. The rest of those who were 
taken prisoners spent the night on the battlefield, and in the 
morning were taken out and sent towards the city. On the way 
they were met by a detachment with an officer, who made the 
Christians go apart on one side, the Jews on the other. The 
Jews were all killed on the spot (at the corner of Sadovaya and 
Alexandrovskaya streets). The bodies, as well as those killed 
in the region of the factory, were mangled and mutilated. 

At the same time several comrades who -had hidden during 
the night, and who ventured to come out on Saturday to change 
their hiding-places, were killed. The bodies were mutilated. 
Crowds of soldiers searched all corners, and several times 


searched over the field-hospital stations in the region of the 
sugar- factory, looking for "Jews and communists." As I hid 
near the factory I heard some Grigorievist soldier-agitators and 
civilians going from house to house, collecting all the inhabi- 
tants and inviting them to the pogrom in town. Throngs of in- 
habitants were in the square ; a great many workmen. Two days 
later similar agitators, with militiamen and armed soldiers, went 
around the streets of this region, going into all the houses, and 
called out the men, demanded a call to arms, and shouted that 
"We have beaten the Jews, but now we must all defend our- 
selves." Large military detachments, with the director of the 
factory at their head, were formed. 


XV. A Letter to the Editor of the "Cherkassy Izvestia" '. 


In order to make clear to the people and the workers the 
truth about the personality of Ataman UVAROV and his agents, 
do not refuse to print the following. 

As is now at the present time known to all, Uvarov and his 
hereafter-mentioned agents have shown themselves provocators, 
and murderers of innocent people in the cities of Cherkassy, 
Chigirin, Medvedovsky and others. Besides this they have turned 
out to be thieves, who have stolen from the deceived and starv- 
ing workers. Millions of the people's money in the treasury of 
Cherkassy, which ought to have gone to maintain the detach- 
ments, was seized, and almost half of the money received 
by Uvarov was stolen and appropriated by the following persons : 

Ataman Uvarov, 500,000 rubles. Abramov, his chief of staff, 
250,000 rubles. Nedelka, treasurer of the division, 150,000 rubles. 
Andrei Romanovsky, assistant to the treasurer, and his brother, 
200,000 rubles. Vasili losifovich Gontkovsky, secretary of the 
detachment, 100,000 rubles. Adjutant Fedorovsky, 150,000 rubles. 
Ivan losifovich Gagarin and his son Kostia, 100,000 rubles. 
Vasili Ivanovich Oziran, 50,000 rubles. Grigori Ivanovich 
Shramenko, 50,000 rubles. Sergei Ivanovich Vasilievsky, 25,000 
rubles. In all, about 1,600,000 rubles. 

Here you see for whom and for what, comrades, we have 
spilled our blood, gone hungry, fed parasites; so that a bunch 
of these bandits, thieves, murderers and pillagers might stuff 
their pockets and rob you protecting themselves with your 
honorable name and your support. You, comrades, spilled your 
blood without a murmur, suffered from parasites, hunger and 
cold, thinking that you were suffering and fighting for the estab- 


lishment of order .and legality, while in fact you were only 
helping the above-mentioned bandits and provocators to fill their 
pockets with your own, the people's, money, and helping them 
to plunder and kill perfectly innocent people, peaceful inhabi- 

When you read this letter, comrades, you will understand 
yourselves whom you followed ; and your conscience will tell 
you what to do next. But in the first instance we must merci- 
lessly reckon with the thieves referred to and take from them 
the people's money they stole. And for this purpose it is neces- 
sary to help with all your might the workers' and peasants' 
Soviet authorities to search for those thieves and mercilessly 
punish them in public, as they have deserved for deceiving and 
robbing you. When you read this do not imagine that it is 
written by some agitator who wants to blacken the name of 
your former government. No, it is written by your former 
comrade, who suffered with you, and you can verify all that I 
have written by your comrades whom you trust most of all, who 
were taken prisoners at Raigorod on the day of the battle. All 
this was made known at a meeting in their presence, together 
with the sixth regiment, and it was announced to all in the 
presence of your delegates, who had been sent to negotiate with 
the sixth regiment about joining them. There were present 
about forty of our prisoners, the whole third battalion of the 
regiment and your delegates. 

Your former comrade of the 7th company, 


XVI. A Letter to the Editor of the "Cherkassy Izvestia." 


I am sending herewith a list of persons who killed and robbed 
Jews and where they are at the present time, and also in part 
where the money they stole is; which list I beg you to deliver 
to the proper persons that they may go after these persons and 
take from them the people's money. 

UVAROV the money is at his mother-in-law's, in Cher- 

NEDELKA and the ROMANOVSKY brothers went to Nale- 
snoe, and from there to Kremenchug. Search must be made in 
both places. The money is partly with him, the rest, about 
400,000 rubles, his wife brought from the Motrovsky monastery 
to Cherkassy and in all probability hid it in her dwelling. 

GONTKOVSKY, Vasili losifovich, is himself hiding in Raigo- 


rod, with the teacher K., or if not there then he has gone to 
his father's in the village of Piliavo. His wife has the money 
in Cherkassy, or if she hasn't, then his sister M. Kerezhegin or 
his mother-in-law, who lives at Russko-Polianskaya street 68; 
in the house is a storeroom with a double hidden partition, 
where all stolen and pillaged goods are hidden. His sister and 
mother-in-law live opposite. He formerly served as a commis- 
sary official, where he also stole about 200,000 rubles. He 
bought a house all furnished at Ozeron in his wife's name. 

FEDOROVSKY, if not yet arrested, is either at the house of 
his uncle Kaurov or at Dr. Chiprina's; the same also have his 
money and stolen goods. 

GAGARIN and his son Kostia are in adjacent villages; it will 
be easy to find them, since he is traveling with his whole family, 
that is, his wife and children. His money is hidden in his own 
house in Cherkassy, where it should be searched for in the secret 
places of the house. 

OZIRAN, Vasili Ivanovich; I do not know where he is hid- 
ing, but the money is at the house of his father, Ivan Terentiev 
Oziran, Alexandrovskaya II. 

SHRAMENKO, Grigori Ivanovich; his money and stolen 
goods are located with Stepan Mikhailovich Vasiok, his brother 
Ivan Ivanovich Shramenko, and Feodosi Mikhailovich Borisenko 
or Borisenko's son-in-law Pechikin, together with whom he 
robbed the Zaritzkys ; he is also hiding with the same. 

VASILIEVSKY, Sergei Ivanovich; the money is with him or 
else with his son-in-law Rybakov, former presiding justice of 
the peace. He is hiding with the same; he has shaved off his 
mustache and beard, has put on eyeglasses, and is living with 
him under the name Ismailov. He plundered Jews in the com- 
pany of Pratzenko Grigoriev ; he lives corner of Bulvarnaya and 

With Ilia Mikhailovich Lobzenko, Belozerskaya street, and 
Grigori Fedosievich Orovia, Kavkaskaya street (near the tower), 
they destroyed Zisin's .strongbox, etc. 

LANSKY sent the money with his wife to Cherkassy; he him- 
self has gone over with others to the sixth regiment. 

BONDAREV, Nazar Filimonov, robbed and killed Jews in 
Chigirin; I do not know where he is. 

This is all I know at the present time about these robbers 
and thieves, both those who departed with Uvarov for Milastyr, 
and those who remained in Cherkassy after the looting. 




Testimony of Nison Meyerovich Milevsky, Bookkeeper of 

the Mutual Credit Society of Chigirin; Taken Down by 

Our Associate Maizlish; 6. VI., 1919 

Chigirin is a cantonal capital in the government of Kiev. It 
is 35 versts from the railroad station Fundukeievka and 18 
versts from the landing-place Buzhin (not far from Kremen- 
chug). The inhabitants of Chigirin number about seventeen or 
eighteen thousand, of which five or six thousand are Jews. The 
population is mostly occupied with commerce and trade, partly 
with handicrafts. In manufactures the tanning industry is much 
developed here; there are twelve tanneries with about four or 
five hundred workmen. Of these twelve tanneries seven were 
in the hands of Jews. There were about a hundred to a hundred 
and fifty Jewish workmen in the tanneries. Up to the end of 
1918 all the tanneries were working, and the owners got enough 
raw materials for production. Before the coming into power 
of the Directory (at the beginning of November, 1918) the 
Jewish proprietors of several tanneries left town, and their tan- 
neries were municipalized by the city government, which named 
commissars for the tanneries and took charge of production and 
sales. The municipal government, however, was not able to 
manage production as successfully as the private enterprise of 
the owners, and the Jewish tanneries began to fall off, while 
the tanneries of non-Jews, which remained in the hands of the 
private owners, are working almost at full capacity. 

The Jewish population of Chigirin is rather poor, and lived, 
as has been said, mostly by trade. Jewish social life, as in the 
typical Jewish provincial town, was not developed. The only 
political parties which appeared on the scene anywhere were the 
Zionists and the Bund. The only social organizations were the 
Talmud-Torah, a hospital and an impoverished library. 

The years of war and revolution brought no very special 
changes in the life of the population of Chigirin. Of course, 
during war-time, speculation became widespread ; some made 
money, but not in large proportions. 

In general the Jewish and non-Jewish populations lived peace- 
fully with each other. Signs of private anti-Semitism were not 

The Hetman's power fell in Chigirin at the beginning of 
November, 1918. The regime which succeeded it was the rebel 
detachment of Kotzyr, which arrived in Chigirin November 8, 
arrested the Sovereign Guard (the militia), removed some of 


the Hetman's officials, appointed political and military commis- 
sars, and established relations with the Directory, which was 
then in Bielaia Tserkov. Kotzyr was an Ukrainian, an agricul- 
turist, born in the river-source village Subbotovo (eight versts 
from Chigirin). He was known as an old revolutionary who 
had spent 12 years in Siberia at hard labor for participation in 
the revolutionary movement of 1905. He enjoyed the sympathy 
of the surrounding and local population, which co-operated with 
him in overthrowing the power of the Hetman and the Germans, 
and in supporting the Ukrainian popular movement in the person 
of Petlura and the Directory. 

On November 10 Tikhonenko, with a detachment, appeared in 
Chigirin, and declared himself also on the side of the Directory, 
and became a close associate of Kotzyr. Tikhonenko, born in 
the village of Kitaigorod (thirty versts from Chigirin), was 
well known to the people of Chigirin for his previous activities 
as a member of the Zemstvo governing board, and was known as 
an adherent of bolshevism. 

The power of Kotzyr and Tikhonenko lasted all the time up 
to the pogrom, which was perpetrated by Grigorievist gangs 
(under Uvarov) who arrived at the end of May. Even during 
the period of the Directory Kotzyr and Tikhonenko began to 
incline to the side of the Soviet regime. When the Industrial 
Congress met in Kiev, there was sent as delegate from Chigirin, 
Braiko, who spoke for a resolution in bolshevist spirit. With 
the arrival of the Soviet regime, Kotzyr's detachment remained, 
and the military power continued in his hands. 

Incidentally, all this time the political commissar was the 
Ukrainian Dzygar, who was sufficiently pliable to be able to 
hold his place as commissar under all regimes; under the Di- 
rectory, under the bolsheviki, and also under the Grigorievists, 
and then again under the Soviet regime. 

During all the time of Kotzyr's government no excesses of 
any sort occurred, and specifically none against Jews, With 
the arrival of the Soviet power part of Kotzyr's detach- 
ment left, and only a battalion commanded by a certain Les- 
chenko remained. At first Leschenko was peaceable in his 
behavior, and the population felt no special constraints. But 
later requisitions began (mainly of the Jews) and searches. 
A contribution was imposed, which in the last analysis was paid 
only by the Jews, because the non-Jews were able to get them- 
selves absolved from it. 

Already in the beginning of May, with the attack of the Grig- 
orievists, the peace of Chigirin was broken, and agitations con- 


stantly arose. On May 14 the bandit Ovcharenko arrived at the 
city with a small detachment, but his onset was quickly stopped. 
Leschenko, with his battalion, energetically took the field against 
him and drove him off. The Jewish population lived in dis- 
quietude, but still did not expect a pogrom. 

On Monday, May 19, an incident occurred which greatly 
alarmed the population, and which seemed entirely incompre- 
hensible to the people of Chigirin. It has remained inexplicable 
up to the present time. 

On that day, May 19, on the usual day of the market-fair, the 
frightened population gathered only very languidly; and only 
after Leschenko had given assurance that he would permit no 
excesses, had brought a machine gun into the fair and had 
calmed everybody, did the people begin to collect at the fair and 
to engage in trade. But at that same time Leschenko with men 
from his detachment was going about the city to the dwellings 
of ten persons previously marked out, and took away five men 
and one woman, all Jews, and shot them. 

After this occurrence the population was still more frightened 
and lived in constant terror. 

Beginning with May 20 various gangs of Grigorievists began 
to appear. On the 21st Kudriavtzev (Uvarov's lieutenant) 
arrived, and on the 22nd "Uvarovists" probably from the region 
of Cherkassy. The Uvarovists behaved very well for the first 
few days, did not allow robberies or murders, and the whole 
population met them cordially. Leschenko's detachment had 
abandoned Chigirin on the 20th. On the days following this 
still other bands arrived, operating from a base at the town of 
Kholodny Yar (about 16 versts from Chigirin). On Sunday, 
May 25, there arrived from Tzybulevo a "Smeliansky" detach- 
ment which was already infected with the poison of anti-Semi- 
tism and pogrom agitation, and which immediately started the 
slogans of "Kill the Jews" and "Save Russia." On the same 
day pillaging began, and eleven Jews were killed. The rob- 
beries continued on Monday and Tuesday, and several more 
people were killed. On Wednesday, probably under pressure 
from the Soviet forces, the gang disappeared. 


Testimony of Yelisavetsky, Presented by Tztfrinovich 

The pogrom began on May 15 and ended on May 22. All the 
inhabitants of the place suffered. The victims numbered 211 


killed and about 30 wounded, of whom many have since died, 
and some are still in danger of death. Eruptive typhus is raging 
in the town. It is impossible to get flour. The majority of the 
victims were small shop-keepers, who at present have no means 
of Iivelih6od. The pogrom was perpetrated on the initiative of 
the Grigorievists, but the local population took part in it. There 
was violent anti-Semitic agitation. It was carried on by peas- 
ants, and by teachers of the local gymnasium, who went through 
the villages and said that the Jews wanted to usurp religion, 
that the Jews were communists, etc. The pogrom was ferocious 
in the degree of taunts and revilings of people. There were 
many cases of violation of women, who were then killed after- 
wards. In general not only young people, but also old men and 
children were killed. Whole families were killed. One family 
of 17 persons was wiped out completely. 



Written June 20, 1919, from the Dictation of the Fiscal Rabbi 
S. Schwars and the Shokhet F. Reznichenko 

Novo-Mirgorod is a "supernumerary town" (zashtatny town 
without a district) of the government of Kherson, canton of 
Yelisavetgrad, situated on the railroad. It has 12,000 inhabi- 
tants, of whom about 1,500 are Jews (300 families). Its occu- 
pations are handicrafts and petty commerce. There was no 
poverty. There were few speculators ("profiteers") among the 
Jews. In general, thrift was prominent, and it increased during 
the war. There had never been any pogroms before. The re- 
lations between the Christian and Jewish populations were good. 

The Directory penetrated to Novo-Mirgorod in January, 1919. 
The Soviet regime replaced it approximately in April. Under 
the Directory a mobilization (draft) was declared, but the Jews 
did not answer the summons. Among the Hebrew youth there 
were rather many communists. 

A verst from Mirgorod is Zlatopol, in the neighboring 
government of Kiev. There pogroms began as early as May 6, 
starting from local gangs ; but on May 10 or 11 the Grigorievists 
arrived there. The number of Jewish families was as many 
as 1,100. Sixty Jews were killed and very many wounded. 
Under the influence of this the local peasants tried to start 
plundering, but the volost (district), that is, the Executive Com- 
mittee, stopped the looting. But when the Grigorievist detach- 
ments arrived, May 17, they perpetrated a savage pogrom, ac- 


companied by murders and pillaging. Murders were fixed in 
advance as the main object, since graves for the expected corpses 
were dug in good season the day before in the Jewish cemetery, 
and lime was prepared for disinfection. More than a hundred 
people were killed. The local priest vainly went with a proces- 
sion of the cross to the robbers, entreating them not to kill or 
rob. The number of the slain would have been incomparably 
higher, but the Executive Committee of the volost purposely 
arrested an enormous number of Jews with their families (up 
to 1,300 souls), and "kept them for eight days in a house of 
detention, supplying them with food. This saved them from 
massacre. But their dwellings were stripped bare during this 
time by robbers, the doors broken in, and the windows smashed. 
There were no burnings, nor violations (of women). About 
May 22 a Soviet detachment under the command of Zhivoder 
arrived. The Grigorievists disappeared. 

To the Head Mission of the Russian Red Cross Society in 

Note of Report from the Representatives of the Committee of 

Aid to the Pogrom-Sufferers in the City of Novo-Mir- 

gorod, Government of Kherson: S. Schwarz and 

F. Reznichenko 

On May 17 the Jewish community of our city suffered an 
extremely severe pogrom, which caused the death of over a 
hundred victims and the complete economic ruin of the city. 
Out of three hundred Jewish families, one or two escaped during 
the outbreak. Everything was taken wares, money, valuables, 
and stores of provisions. The pogrom itself had an exception- 
ally savage character. On the day before the pogrom, graves 
were dug in the Jewish cemetery; lime was prepared; carts fol- 
lowed the murderers, upon which were loaded the bodies of the 
wounded before they were actually dead. As soon as a cart was 
full it started for the cemetery, where immediately both dead 
and living were buried. Lime was strewn in the graves, so that 
it was impossible to recognize many corpses when the graves 
were opened. 

The consequences of the pogrom are frightful. About two 
hundred orphans are deprived of any sort of aid. There are 
sixty wounded, a part of whom are lying in a hospital which 
will have to close for lack of means. The rest of the popula- 
tion is starving. The peasants until very recently have scarcely 
been selling provisions to the Jews. We are getting aid from 
nowhere, since Novoukrainka, the only city that has helped us, 


is at present cut off from Novo-Mirgorod. The local regime is 
not affording help to the suffering population. The committee 
of aid which has been formed is also unable to relieve the con- 
dition of the starving, on account of the absence of means. In 
the meantime the condition of the sufferers becomes worse with 
every day. There is nothing to bind up the wounded with, there 
is no one to look after the orphans, there is nothing for the 
healthy to eat. Help is needed at once, and on an extensive 
scale. (Signature) 


Testimony of Nukhim Levin, Member of the Alexandria 
Militia Troop. July 8, 1919 

After the first pogrom, perpetrated by Grigoriev on May 20, 
there was formed in Alexandria a workers' military troop at 
the Central Bureau of the trade unions, which was entered by 30 
"military" members and 300 who had learned to shoot. The 
troop consisted almost exclusively of Jews, since Russians did 
not enter it. The Jews, however, entered it freely. In the 
synagogues it was proclaimed as the duty of every Jew to enter 
the troop, which thus represented the Jewish self-defense at the 
Central Bureau. There were close to 300 rifles. 

On Friday, May 9, two weeks before the second pogrom, the 
12th Moscow sharpshooters regiment burnt Grigoriev's own 
house beyond the embankment. Grigoriev is a native of the 
place. The burning was done by incendiary bombs to the sounds 
of the Internationale. The military troop took no part whatever 
in this act. Nevertheless provocatory rumors had it that Jews 
had burnt Grigoriev's house. 

The 300 members of the troop were divided into four pla- 
toons, each of which was on duty for a night. The commander 
was a Jew; his assistant a Russian. 

On June 23 the rumor spread that Grigoriev was coming 
again, and on the 24th he entered the town by night. In his 
detachment it is said there were about 800 men. Grigoriev him- 
self, Tereschenko, and Gorbenko (of his staff), with their wives, 
rode horseback at the head. Of the troopers there were in all 
about forty effectives on guard. They sustained a four-hour 
fight with the Grigorievists. Two or three communists also took 
part in the fight. Eleven troopers fell in it. 

The most of Grigoriev's detachment at once started to rob 
and kill Jews. Grigoriev himself was apparently against po- 


groms and murders. He rode around on horseback and stopped 
the pillaging. According to the account of Mikhail Chverkin, 
who had been stripped naked and was about to be killed, Grig- 
oriev saved him from the hands of the murderers. A part of 
the troop after the battle withdrew to the village of Abramovka, 
where the peasants killed six or seven. The total number of 
the slain was 43 Jews (including 18 troopers). Among the slain 
were old men and women. 

Grigoriev plundered the arsenal, the Executive Committee, and 
the treasury, where he is said to have taken three millions, and 
went on to Novaia Praga and Verbliushka, having remained in 
Alexandria only a few hours in all. He took his own dead and 
wounded with him. According to what the transport convoy 
said, there must have been about 300 such. 

Grigoriev was a second-captain (stabs-kapitan) , owning many 
forests in the region of Alexandria and Znamenka, where he hid 
with his wife and two children. 

After the occurrences of June 24 the Jewish youth of Alex- 
andria began to leave town, fearing the vengeance of Grigoriev, 
who, according to rumors, had got hold of a list of the troop. 
Among those who left was the author of this testimony Nukhim 
Levin. But nevertheless a new troop was formed. 

Testimony of Goldfarb, written in Kiev, June 27, 1919 

Tarascha is a cantonal capital of 20,000 inhabitants, of which 
7,500 are Jews (500 families), 22 versts from the railroad at 
Olshanitz. The city was not rich; for instance at Passover 
30,000 rubles were distributed to the poor. The relations with 
the local bourgeoisie were peaceful but they were, of course, 
anti-Semitic. In November, 1918, the region of Tarascha was 
the starting point of the uprising against the Hetman. 

On June 16, 1919, the city experienced its fifth pogrom. They 
were caused by the band of Yatzenko, a native of the village 
of Kerdan, three versts from Tarascha. All around are vast, 
thick pine forests, where it is easy to hide. Yatzenko is 24 
years old and completed the course of the two-class school in 
Tarascha. In March he declared himself for Petlura and im- 
mediately started an anti-Semitic agitation, saying that "the 
Jews are all communists, they defile our sacred edifices, turn 
them into stables." In the Executive Committee of Tarascha 
were many Jews, all local. The Extraordinary Committee had 


shot six local counter-revolutionaries not long before the June 
pogrom. Although there was not a single Jew in it (the Extraor- 
dinary Committee), the gang spread the report abroad that they 
had been killed by Jews, their tongues and ears cut off, etc., and 
that for these six slain, six thousand Jews ought to be de- 
manded. When the city was taken they ordered the bodies dis- 

This band, beginning in March, several times broke into the 
city and perpetrated pogroms, but they were comparatively 
trifling and were limited to pillaging and extortions. In May it 
was driven out by a Soviet detachment, after which the Soviet 
regime lasted about a month in Tarascha. But in the middle 
of June the band again approached the city in larger numbers 
(about 800 men). The garrison numbered not more than a 
hundred men and therefore withdrew. The band seized the 
town. It consisted of Yatzenko's men and some remnants of 
Grigorievists under Col. Nechai. Immediately plundering began 
and devastation, which lasted two days. The local bourgeoisie 
took no active part in this pillaging. A contribution of a mil- 
lion rubles was levied on the Jewish population. They suc- 
ceeded in getting 300,000, and -announced that if the rest were 
not furnished they would massacre everybody, At this point 
the sixth Soviet regiment arrived and the band departed. The 
Soviet regiment put a stop to the plundering of the city. 

All the shops were smashed and plundered. The losses were 
more than ten millions. Two persons were killed. 

Approximately on June 20 the rumor went around that the 
"villagers" ("village- workers") were again attacking the city. 
The Soviet regiment withdrew, and with it departed almost the 
whole Jewish population. Four thousand Jews went to the town 
of Rakitnoe. The rumor proved untrue, but not more than 
fifteen Jewish families remained in the city. 

Pogrom of M,ay 5, 1919 

Testimony of L. Dashevsky, Emissary of the Authorised 

Investigator Tzifrinovich 

Lebedin is located several versts from Zlatopol, near the 
boundary of the government of Kherson. All the winter of 
1918-19 the Jews of Lebedin suffered from the attacks of local 
bandits, who terrorized the Jewish population beyond all measure 
and very often indulged in pillaging. The frightened Jewish 
population hastened to leave Lebedin, and about sixty families 



left the place. Those who remained were chiefly Jewish paupers 
and the operatives of a sugar- factory; about forty or fifty 

The pogrom took place on Monday, May 5. During the day 
before the Jews learned of the approach of the rebels, and began 
in large numbers to leave for Shpola, ten versts from Lebedin. 
The pogrom was perpetrated not by Grigorievists but by local 
bandits, who were egged on by the local intellectuals. On Mon- 
day morning the bandits broke into the office of the sugar- 
factory, drove out all Jewish employees and immediately re- 
placed them with non-Jews. At the same time there began in 
the market-place in the center of the town a shooting in which 
four Jews fell. There were instances of torture and barbari- 

On the next day an armed force of bolshevists from Shpola 
went and collected the Hebrews who remained alive, and who 
were hiding in cellars, and took them away to Shpola, abandon- 
ing Lebedin to the will of the bandits. Now there is not a single 
Jew in Lebedin. The Jewish houses have been broken open and 
robbed bare. Some have been burned. The bandits, having no 
more Jews to rob, are killing rich peasants. 


From the Jewish Employees of the Refined Sugar Factory of 

Lebedin, Who Were Victims of the Pogrom in Lebedin 

and at the Factory 


On May 5 of this year the Jewish employees were informed 
by telephone that within 24 minutes not a single Jew must re- 
main in the factory. Many fled from the factory to the nearest 
towns of Matusovo and Shpola. But before they got out of the 
region of the factory they were met with volleys of shots by 
bandits lying in wait near by, and four employees were killed 
on the spot. 

From this time there began to operate here a small band of 
local bandits, who by their onslaughts and pillaging brought 
alarm and terror to the Jewish population. The local adminis- 
tration of the factory and the authorities took no steps to stop 
the pillaging and murders. The slaying was accompanied by 
cruel torments and violations. What the bandits could not take 
with them, they destroyed and burned. And then the wave of 
bloodshed poured into the territory of the factory even. The 


bandits began to execute their destructive, death-dealing work 
upon the Jewish laborers, who with blood and sweat had been 
earning their living at this factory for many years. And here, 
in the territory of the factory, a drunken rout began, accom- 
panied by violence, murders, and destructive looting. This took 
place under the influence of anti-Semitic pogrom agitation, which 
had inflamed the passions of these monsters and infuriated ban- 
dits. We are the victims of this agitation: we, the Jews work-, 
ing in the factory ruined, plundered, and beaten. We have been 
turned into beggars ; we have no roof, no refuge ; we are naked, 
barefooted; and yet we have been working all our lives; with 
hard toil we had gained everything we had, every trinket in our 
homes, every article, is the product of stubborn, long labor. 
And now, all that we have won by our honest, persistent toil, 
has been plundered and carried off by a drunken gang. 

We apply to the Soviet government as the protector and 
guardian of the interests of the laborers; and our just prayer 
is tKat the losses inflicted upon us be replaced. This will be an 
act of humanity and justice in relation to us as laborers. We 
believe that this government, which is introducing into life the 
principle of justice and of defense of labor, which stands on 
guard over the interests of the workers, will pay due attention to 
our sad situation and will satisfy our just petition, since this 
is the petition of people who have worked all their lives. Among 
us there are those who have worked twenty to thirty years in 
this factory, and at this day have been driven from their settled 
abodes and find themselves with their families beggars in the 

We are at present living in the neighboring town of Shpola; 
some have fled to Kiev. We have no possibility of going to 
Lebedin. We are living in the most terrible conditions. The 
administration of the factory refused to send us even provisions 
of the first necessity. 

The lists of things plundered and the family situation of 
each one is appended herewith. 

The delegates of the workers in the Refined Sugar Factory at 
Lebedin. (Signatures) 


From the Statement of the Son-in-Law of the Former Owner 

of the Factory, Bernburg 

In the region of the Sablino-Znamenka sugar-factory, eight 
versts from the railroad station of Znamenka, lived several 


hundred families of Jews and Gentiles, members of which were 
workmen and employees of the factory and thus supported their 
families. In general the entire population of this settlement was 
supported, so to speak, by the factory. The workmen and em- 
ployees of the factory itself numbered about 300, and among 
this number were 52 Jews. 

Before the end of the year 1918 the peasants of the village of 
Moshorino, about three versts from the factory, raised a revolt 
against the Germans and the Hetman, and, with the appearance 
of the Directory, adhered to it. At the head of the rebels was 
a certain Tkachenko. 

When the Soviet forces approached, the peasants went over 
to their side. Then the revolters seized the factory and declared 
it the property of the peasants. A detachment of sixty men, 
with a commander at its head, was formed; it was quartered in 
the factory and formed its defense. All the employees for the 
time being remained in their places; the family of the owner, 
Bernburg, also remained at the factory. 

At the beginning of May, 1919, traces of anti-Semitic agitation 
began to appear at the factory. The members of the guard, and 
also some of the employees of the factory, such as the manager, 
cashier, and others, took part in it. The slogan of the anti- 
Semitic agitation was the accusation that the Jews filled the best 
positions, and the like. The Jews who lived in the region of the 
factory had grounds for alarm and for expecting disorders. 
They applied several times to the local powers, that is, to that 
same guard which was itself the home of the anti-Semitic agi- 
tation, and asked that measures be taken against the occurrence 
of disorders in general and of anti-Jewish outbursts in particular. 
Each time they were promised that measures would be taken. 
Even on May 19 the commander of the guard, Moroshuk, calmed 
them and assured them that he would allow no uprisings or dis- 

At twelve o'clock midnight between May 19 and 20, shots 
were suddenly heard, and the members of the "guard," with 
perhaps some other elements, began shooting, and scattered over 
the settlements in the territory of the factory, crying, "Kill 
the Jews, save Russia" and the like ; and, falling upon the Jews, 
they began to pillage and slay. In that night 42 Jewish employ- 
ees were killed. Their property was plundered. Many of the 
members of the factory "guard" took part in the murders, so 
that in some cases it is possible to state definitely who killed 

On the next day the pillaging and killing continued, and seven 


more people were killed at the factory and on the road to it. 
Thus there were in all 49 human victims of the pogrom at the 
Sablino-Znamenka sugar-factory in May, 1919. Only two or 
three of the Jewish employees of the factory were uninjured, 
and also Bernburg's family, whom some threatened to massacre. 


Pogrom of May 11-12, 1919 

Communicated by the Authorized Investigator Deschinsky 

The town of Gorodische is about 50 versts to the southwest 
of Cherkassy and forty versts west of Smela, on the rail- 
road from Shpola to Fastov. Inhabitants, about 25,000; of these 
close to 3,500 Jews (800 families). 

By the first day of the Jewish 3 Rassover it became known to 
the local Executive Committee, though its agents, that some 
sort of counter-revolutionary outbreak was being prepared, 
having as its object the seizing of power and the perpetration 
of a Jewish pogrom. The Executive Committee knew the names 
of the persons who had charge of this and who had arranged 
a meeting outside the city, at which it was agreed : 1. To plunder 
the Jews, but not to kill them; 2. To begin the pogrom after 
the giving of signals agreed upon, namely, the violent ringing 
of a church-bell and a bonfire. 

The Executive Committee made no arrests, but strengthened 
the guard and personally went around by night and inspected 
the posts that were established. In a panic of alarm the Jewish 
population looked for a pogrom during the second day of the 
passover, but it did not take place. This was the situation in 
which the Jewish population had to remain all the time until the 
Grigorievists arrived. 

On May 8 it became known in the town that Grigorievist 
bands had occupied Znamenka and were advancing on the line 
Bobrinsky to Tzvetkovo. On May 11 the situation was still more 
serious. On May 11 the Executive Committee summoned the 
Jewish bourgeoisie exclusively, and after maltreatment, such as 
beating, personally performed by the finance commissar, and 
firing at one of those arrested, a contribution of 95,000 rubles 
was paid in full. This was the second contribution levied after 
the first one of 250,000 rubles, which was paid almost exclusively 
by the Jewish population. Towards evening of the same day 
the Executive Committee, taking with it all papers and the 
detachment which it had with it, left the town. : "The commander 
of militia remained in town with his militian having first 


agreed with the Executive Committee that the defense of the 
town against any outbreaks whatever should be entrusted to 

On May 11 at 9 P.M., the militiamen who had remained to 
guard the town opened a violent fusillade with rifles on the 
main street. The first victim of it was L. Kahan. At the same 
time the ringing of the bell was heard. The pogromists flocked 
together. They set off a rocket (as signal) and plundered two 
shops, and then started to besiege the homes of rich Jews. All 
night long they raged. During this night L. Trigub, R. Sosnov- 
skaia, and E. Dinerstein were killed. 

On the morning of May 12 it became known that local Grig- 
orievists had seized the power. At their head were Gritzai, a 
former officer, who, under the Central Rada, had served as ata- 
man of the Cossacks and T n ruler of the town ; and Onis- 
chenko, former commissar cu Mleievo village (seven or eight 
versts from Gorodische) under the Directory, and delegate of 
the inhabitants of Kiev at the industrial congress. On the same 
day the Jews paid to Gritzai 25,000 rubles and to the com- 
mander of militia 15,000, which was intended to pacify them 
and stop the pogrom. But the pogrom not only continued but 
became more violent. It is interesting to note that a local 
group of teachers and pupils in the gymnasium and the school 
of agricultural economics appeared as leaders of the pogrom. 
They not only inspired and led it, but themselves actively robbed 
and murdered. 

Thus it continued until the 15th of May. On May 17 Soviet 
forces entered the town. The sum total of the pogrom: seven 
killed, three wounded, of them one mortally, and 135 houses 
wrecked. The losses were about three millions. 

After all these horrors the Jewish population had to go 
through a second pogrom on May 31, at the hands of the 7th 
Sumsky regiment, which finished the plundering of the Jewish 
population. In this new pogrom it is characteristic that: 1. Jew- 
ish Red soldiers of the 7th regiment took active part in it; 
2. Not only were people robbed in their houses, but they were 
stripped in the streets and in the synagogues; 3. The attack 
was perpetrated on Saturday. 

APPENDIX 1. List of Victims Who Perished During the Raid 
of Grigorievist Bands in the Villages near Gorodische 

Village of Khlystunovka, 7 versts from Gorodische: 

Killed, L. Bylr ky, 55 years old, small trader, with three sons. 
Four Jews in Killed. 


Village of Viazovok, 12 versts from Gorodische: 

Killed, Kh. Rabinovich, 24 years, inhabitant of the village of 
Svinarka. Was visiting in Viazovok. 

APPENDIX 2. Proclamation of Commissar Onischenko, May 13[ 
Town of Gorodische, Government of Kiev 

All the Jewish population are ordered to hand in all weapons 
by 8 P.M. Disobedience to this order will be judged by laws of 


May 12, 1919. Original in Ukrainian language. 

APPENDIX 3. Proclamation of Commissar Onischenko, May 15 
Town of Gorodische 

I order all Jewish shops to be opened at once. 

May 15, 1919. Original in Ukrainian language. 


On May 12, towards evening, three horsemen rode into the 
village from Smela (they were inhabitants of Orlovetz) with 
cries of "Kill the Jews," "Save Russia." The local Executive 
Committee arrested them, but in an hour or two they were 
released, and, together with a gang of peasants who joined them, 
started to wreck Jewish shops. On May 13 the plunderers at- 
tacked Jewish houses. Now all the Russian population came 
to their aid. Everything was carried off in carts. When the 
houses were completely stripped bare, and when by all manner of 
extortion even their money savings had been collected from the 
Jews, then they started to destroy the houses and shops com- 
pletely. The shutters, doors, windows, iron from the roofs, etc., 
were taken out. They hunted for money in the most determined 
way, tore up the floors, dug up the earth in the barns, cellars 
and yards, broke open ovens. And even now it is still going 
on, only a more quiet pillaging; everything is removed. The 
summation of the pogrom is two killed, one wounded, sixty 
houses and 25 shops in all plundered. 

The village of Orlovetz is situated about 50 versts to the south- 
west of Cherkassy, about 35 versts to the west of Smela, 
several versts from Gorodische, on the railroad from Shpola to 
Fastov. About 16,500 inhabitants, among them about 350-400 
Jews (60 families). 



Pogrom of June 5-15, 1919 
Testimony of a Refugee, Taken Down by S. Y. Maizlish 

The town of Stavische, canton of Tarascha, government of 
Kiev, is located 30 versts from Tarascha. It has approximately 
fifteen to eighteen thousand inhabitants ; approximately 1,000 
Jewish families. 

Early in 1919 there was organized in the town a detachment 
under the leadership of a certain Zemnevsky, who supported the 
Soviet regime. This detachment was small, about forty to fifty 
men, and it preserved order in the town. Later, when the Grig- 
orievist uprising occurred, the detachment departed for Tarascha. 

Approximately on June 5 there arrived at Stavische from the 
town of Gobuslav a band which had formerly operated in Kaneva 
(probably Grigorievists) ; they called themselves "White 
Guards." They began to plunder, and killed four Jews. Ac- 
cording to accounts of eye-witnesses, many land-owners, stu- 
dents, and priests were among the members of the band, 
and it was precisely these that openly called themselves "White 
Guards." When the band arrived it herded together all the 
Jews in the synagogue, accused them of being bolsheviks and 
communists, and demanded that they surrender their weapons 
and pay a contribution of 400,000 rubles. Entreaties and ex- 
hortations were of no avail, and after long agonies they col- 
lected among the Jewish population 357,000 rubles and handed 
it over, through the Rabbi, to the head of the detachment. The 
Rabbi remarked as he handed it over that the money was taken 
from poor people ; the head of the detachment "showed mercy" 
and handed back seven thousand. The gang stayed in the town 
about seven or eight days, during which robberies and murders 
continued. Two more Jews were killed. Moreover, two non- 
Jewish communists were also killed. Then a part of the gang 
departed for Tarascha, where the Soviet troops defeated them 
and drove them away. Then, approximately on June 16, they 
returned to Stavische and began to pillage again, and killed 22 
people. In all about forty Jews were killed. On the next day 
the 6th Soviet regiment arrived in town. The "Grigorievists" 
naturally retreated and disappeared. The soldiers of the 6th 
regiment also indulged in some plundering. But the 6th Soviet 
regiment only remained one day in all and on the next (ap- 
proximately June 18) left Stavische. The town remained 
entirely unguarded, and the Jews had grounds to fear new 
attacks of Grigorievist gangs. The greater part of the Jewish 


population abandoned their property to the will of fate, arose 
and left for Bielaia Tserkov, which is about fifty versts 
from Stavische. At twelve versts from the town the flee- 
ing Jews were held up by a detachment of the 6th Soviet 
regiment, which perpetrated some robberies and wanted to 
turn them back to Stavische. Some scattered through the 
villages and towns (e.g., Volodarka, canton of Skvira), but 
about seven or eight hundred of them arrived at Bielaia Tserkov. 
Here a committee of aid was organized for the refugees from 
Stavische, who spent about a week in Bielaia Tserkov. When 
some reassuring tidings were received from Stavische, the com- 
mittee of aid hired carts and took the refugees home. 

Pogrom of May 2-8, 1919 

I. Testimony of the Physician Joseph Benjaminovich 
Isaacson, July 21 

Zlatopol is a town in the government of Kiev, canton of 
Chigirin, a verst and a half from Novo-Mirgorod and the border 
of the government of Kherson. It has 15,000 inhabitants, of 
whom ten or twelve thousand are Jews. The chief occupations 
are small handicrafts and commerce. During the war and the 
revolution speculation throve. Previously the town was consid- 
ered very poor, but later it began to be considered decidedly 
rich; there was no poverty at all. This was true of the Chris- 
tian population as well as the Jewish. There was no open anti- 
Semitism visible, but the Christians lived a separate life from 
the Jews. 

From the time of the fall of the Hetman's power, and the 
appearance of the Petlurist regime, and afterwards of the Soviet 
regime, the town constantly was visited by various detach- 
ments and gangs, which seized the power, levied contributions, 
and sometimes pillaged and took away weapons. There came the 
gangs of Kotzyr, Lopata, and Yastrensky, in general each with 
about sixty to eighty men, not more than a hundred. There was 
a militia and a home guard in the town, and latterly even a self- 
defense guard, but they all ran away at the first shots, and the 
gangs would penetrate into the town without resistance. 

When the Soviet regime was established, the local population 
discovered with amazement that Jews were at the head of many 
of its institutions. This led to the accusation that all Jews 
were responsible for the disorganization of life, and anti-Semi- 


tism increased. At the same time there arose among the sur- 
rounding peasantry an opposition and a rebellious movement 
against the communistic Soviet regime. In the neighboring vil- 
lage of Listopadovo (two versts from Zlatopol) the peasants 
were armed, and threats came from there against the town. The 
holiday of May 1 was the occasion for the pogrom. The local 
intellectuals (young students and gymnasium boys) wanted to 
parade with the Ukrainian flag. But the Executive Committee 
would not allow it. The May-day manifestation took place ; 
many Jews, artisans and apprentices, took part. The day passed 
without disturbance, but on the next day there appeared armed 
groups from the direction of Listopadovo, which opened fire 
and entered the town. Some of the Jewish inhabitants hurriedly 
fled to Novo-Mirgorod ; the rest hid in cellars and garrets. They 
began to shoot all the Jews they met, and on the next day began 
a general pogrom and pillaging, which lasted a whole week. 
The Executive Committee and all officials, without difference of 
nationality, had already fled in the morning (May 2). About 
sixty Jews were killed. They set fire to the whole market square 
and to several houses, expecting that the whole town would burn 
up. But fortunately there came a rain so heavy that the other 
houses were saved. The local bourgeoisie and part of the intel- 
lectuals took part in the pogrom and the looting. The pogrom 
stopped "of itself," since everything was looted and all the 
inhabitants had fled to Novo-Mirgorod. After about a week 
the inhabitants began to return. There remained in town the 
head of Kotzyr's band, who had set up a government, in the 
expectation that Grigoriev's uprising would succeed. When a 
pogrom broke out later in Novo-Mirgorod (May 17), the pogrom 
was repeated also in Zlatopol on the same day. With the sup- 
pression of Grigoriev's uprising Kotzyr disappeared from Zlato- 
pol. The narrator is an inhabitant of Zlatopol, where he prac- 
tised medicine. He also escaped to Novo-Mirgorod, and on his 
return found his entire apartment, his chemical-biological labor- 
atory, and all his instruments, plundered. Certain instruments 
were found on the premises of the local hospital, from which he 
infers that the hospital staff took part in the pillaging. 

II. Extract from Report on the Town of Zlatopol by the 
Instructor of the Government of Kiev, Comrade Romsen 


Until the revolutionary overturn, Zlatopol had not been 
touched by any pogrom outbreaks, even in the year 1905, when 


a wave of pogroms broke out all around. It did not reach 
Zlatopol ; and this was not accidental. As far as can be ex- 
plained, these relations with the peasantry were based on mutual 
confidence and solidarity, and with the intellectuals there existed 
a bond based on culture and enlightenment. But the revolution 
broke out, and the population triumphantly reacted to that joyous 
sound. The Jewish inhabitants also took open part in the fes- 
tivity. Soon the local intellectuals and the nearby landowners, 
seeing before them dangerous rivalry in the persons of capable 
and intelligent Jewish workers, united with the ruined land- 
owners. They stood in opposition to the changes that were 
being carried out. They adopted the usual methods, playing 
upon the ignorance of the peasant masses, inflaming them with 
various calumnies. They said the revolution, speculation, high 
prices, everything was the handiwork of the Jews, and the only 
way out was repression. The agitation grew, and the village 
teacher in the country, and the priest and the intellectuals in the 
town, at markets, at peasant gatherings, in the co-operatives 
everywhere the work went on. And soon its harvest appeared in 
the form of individual outbreaks of looting of wares belonging 
to shopkeepers and Jews. 

Petlura appeared on the political horizon, and gave free rein 
to the chauvinistic feelings of that crowd with its mad thirst for 
Jewish blood. Then came bands under the flag of the slogans 
of the bolsheviks, mainly from Chigirin; under the pretext of 
searches they systematically terrorized the Jewish population. 
The band of Yastrensky, and then that of Lopata established 
arbitrary regimes, always solely in regard to the Jewish inhabi- 
tants. The local League of Labor, composed of representatives 
of the trade unions of the town, declared itself an Executive 
Committee; but they were not able to accomplish anything owing 
to absence of connections with the central power. Only in Feb- 
ruary, when the Soviet regime was growing stronger, was a 
Soviet elected here, into which honorable and conscientious peo- 
ple entered. About April 2 there arrived 80 of Lopata's men, 
occupied the Soviet, tore down the portraits of Lenin and 
Trotzky ,and tried to start a pogrom; but the Soviet entirely 
forestalled this outbreak, and called for 120 men from Yelisavet- 
grad, who after killing 40 of Lopata's men took the rest pris- 
oners (40 men). Lopata got away, but promised to be avenged 
on the "Jew Soviet." But the Soviet at this time sent two dele- 
gates to Kiev to solicit the separation of Zlatopol into an inde- 
pendent unit, unconnected with Chigirin, which was a nest of 
bandits and counter-revolutionaries. 



At this time, having misgivings as to the weakness of the 
government over the canton, the local and volost Executive Com- 
mittees quarreled; and the local intellectuals decided to make 
use of this moment in unison with Lopata, Kotzyr and other 
bandits from Chigirin. They sent their agitators through the 
towns and villages calling people to an open uprising against 
the Jews. Upon a designated signal fifteen villages were to 
take up this crusade. There was needed only an external occa- 
sion, which was not slow in presenting itself. This was the 
day of the international holiday, May 1. When the procession 
under red flags began, there suddenly appeared the Ukrainian 
national flag, which was to figure in the first ranks. The authori- 
ties declared that it was an international holiday, and that con- 
sequently international flags had to be in the first position. The 
flag was removed. On the next day the sound of the warning 
bell rang out, rifle-shots were fired, and the bloody feast began. 
The first day yielded modest results, several innocent victims 
and complete destruction of their property. On the third of 
May they carried out the wares from the shops, accompanying 
it by incessant shooting. 

But the systematic pogrom began only on Sunday the fourth. 
On that day both the year-old child, and the eighty-year-old man, 
both the workman and the factory-owner, were alike found 
guilty of bolshevism and mercilessly shot. Of course cases of 
violation of girls were not lacking. The result was 69 killed 
and 300 wounded. 


By categories No. of persons 
Breadwinners 5 

Cabmen 3 

Undefined professions 21 
Artisans 10 

Liberal professions 5 
Servants 5 

Petty tradesmen 11 

Unknown 9 

Total 69 

Of the wounded I did not succeed in getting statements by 



By age No 

. of persons 
























The burning of the plundered homes and shops lasted about 
three weeks. They stole everything, beginning with pokers and 
wooden spoons and ending with pianos. Nails were taken out 
of the walls, doors and window-frames were removed, the win- 
dow-glass was taken from the frames. They took the last 
blind nag from a pauper water-carrier. The result: 

No. of houses in Zlatopol before pogrom 1100 

No. of houses burned 15 

No. of stores before pogrom 285 

No. of stores burned 275 

Homes wrecked 1065 

Homes remaining undestroyed 20 

Stores remaining undestroyed 10 

The wares and property were carried away by thousands of 
carts. From the Artisans' Loan and Savings Association alone 
they took out 130 poods of butter, 9,000 poods of wheat, and 
30,000 poods of sugar. It is curious that in some way or other 
a part of these goods came into the hands of the Russian co- 
operatives, and are to this day being sold, without a return 
being made to the owners. There have been cases of the seizure 
by a Russian co-operative of the Jewish co-operative's premises ; 
for the latter is still active. The public hospital robbed drug- 
stores and has not yet made any returns. The approximate 
results of calculations covering only one quarter of the popula- 
tion that remains show the following picture of losses of prop- 

Categories No. of families Extent of losses 

Merchants and factory-owners 62 9,062,100 

Small tradesmen 146 4,476,700 

Artisans 296 9,849,000 

Liberal professions 47 2,688,800 

Servants 50 1,494,000 

Undefined occupations 84 2,540,400 

Total 685 30,111,000 

To complete all this horror famine was added, since the peas- 
ants were forbidden to export their products under pain of most 
severe punishment, and the stricken population was condemned 
to drag out its existence for the course of seven weeks without 
bread and without any assistance from outside. Of the govern- 
ment there was no trace. Both the Soviet and the trade unions 


had scattered at the moment of the pogrom. At last a detach- 
ment of Zhivoder's brigade of sharpshooters arrived at the 
station, and occupied the place after a brief exchange of 
shots. He issued an order about bearing arms, but the order 
had no effect. Zhivoder soon departed, and with him half the 
population dragged themselves away all who could in any way 
get away anywhere ; to such an extent had horror mastered them. 
There remained almost no one but beggars, among whom famine 
typhus began to rage. The public hospital refused to take the 
sufferers. Gradually the peasantry began to sober down, asking 
themselves where was that malicious Jewish speculation? be- 
fore the pogrom a box of matches cost a ruble and a half, 
while after the pogrom the robbers sold them for ten and 
twelve rubles ; and so with all wares. Peasants began to appear 
in the market, in many cases expressing sympathy and trying 
to justify themselves, saying that it was not their fault, but that 
the landowners and intellectuals had deceived them. They be- 
gan to bring in bread, and relations in a way became smoothed 
out. On June 20 a punitive detachment from the third army 
arrived, under the command of Zinkov, and began trials, but 
in the majority of cases not with the right persons; while the 
flagrant hooligans and robbers whom they succeeded in arrest- 
ing were let off with a fine of ten to fifteen thousand. They took 
away the stolen goods, but gave back almost none to the naked 
and barefooted population, but took it all to the station and 
loaded it on their own cars. So it went on for about eight days. 
No one was in the least concerned to establish a government 
and a local punitive detachment ; on the contrary, the militia's 
last three rifles were taken away. In such circumstances the 
punitive detachment decided to leave this unhappy town ; and 
together with the detachment all the rest of the inhabitants 
started out, but they were thrown out of the cars. The detach- 
ment departed, and the population, seized with terror, remained 
in expectation of death and a repetition of the nightmare, since 
the peasants, the bandits, and the intellectuals were much ruffled 
after the trials conducted by Zinkov. It's the Jews, they said, 
that brought in this Jew detachment (the commander, Zinkov, 
was a Jew). On that night of evil memory I arrived at the 
station, and found a picture of frozen horror like that of a 
struggling trapped animal. When they found that I had come 
as an instructor to show them aid, they advised me to depart 
at once by the return train, for they were actually all there at 
the station and were preparing to leave. But I decided to re- 
main as long as there were even a few families there. Towardf 


morning the rumor went around that the bandits killed by the 
punitive expedition were going to be exhumed; and since the 
graves were at the station, the whole population was in danger. 
And, however, hard as it was, we had to apply to those who in 
one way or another, whether by their passive attitude or by 
active work, had perpetrated the pogroms, and had to ask them 
for help, assuring them that if it were repeated the punitive de- 
tachment would again take vengeance on innocent intellectuals. 

At last, we succeeded in persuading the president of the trade 
unions at Novo-Mirgorod to send a guard of three men to the 
station, after entreating him to organize a home guard in gen- 
eral, and giving him 5,000 rubles for the expense. When the 
train came some hundreds of people in all left; the rest wan- 
dered back home. 

When I came in touch with realities, my first help was de- 
voted to buying a number of rifles for self-protection from the 
bandits. I telegraphed in all directions, to Kiev, Odessa, Yelisa- 
vetgrad, asked for a detachment or at least for weapons for self- 
protection; but have not yet received an answer. In the meet- 
ings old men, women and children cried with one voice: "We 
want nothing, we are hungry and barefoot, but instead 
of bread give us protection, give us arms." And up to the 
present day nothing has been done ip this respect. Every day 
almost there are murders and robberies. In the name of those 
250 Jewish volunteers who entered the Red Army, they demand 
that at least the possibility be afforded to their fathers and 
mothers to arm themselves, that they may at least die an hon- 
orable death. This is the single desire of all; if they must die, 
let it be not in a garret, but with arms in their hands. 

III. To the Commission for Furnishing Aid to Persons Who 
Have Suffered from the Counter-Revolution (Central Sec- 
tion of Aid to Victims of Pogroms} : Note of Report 
of the Members of the Zlatopol Executive Committee 

The pogrom in Zlatopol began on May 3 and continued almost 
uninterruptedly during the space of four weeks. Two months 
before the pogrom the Executive Committee knew that if special 
measures were not taken, a pogrom in Zlatopol was unavoid- 
able. All the guerrilla detachments of the canton of Chigirin, 
when they arrived at Zlatopol or passed by Zlatopol, introduced 
a special anti-Semitic atmosphere. In this respect the detach- 
ment commanded by Lopata was especially distinguished. He 
openly agitated in the volost assemblies and in the villages, and 


roused the peasants to pogroms. This was early in April, 1919. 
Lopata with his detachment from Chigirin went to Lebedin, and 
thence via the villages of Lipianko, Turlo and others headed for 
Zlatopol. Even before his arrival peasants from the villages 
came to us in the Executive Committee and reported that 
Lopata in his speeches at the assemblies was urging them to 
pogroms. Upon Lopata's arrival in Zlatopol, on April 5, or a 
few days earlier, the air of the place reeked with pogrom senti- 
ment. Lopata did not conceal his views and openly declared 
before the Executive Committee that the Jews ought to be cut 
down. Then the Executive Committee had to summon an armed 
detachment from Yelisavetgrad to prevent a massacre; and Lo- 
pata's detachment was destroyed. The Executive Committee 
had recourse to this extreme measure only when several members 
of the committee had been arrested, and when Lopata declared 
a state of siege in the town and demanded that within 24 hours 
the population pay the arrears of national taxes reckoned against 
them. In his order on this subject he stated that failure to pay 
the arrears in the time allotted would result in repressive meas- 
ures even to the point of bombarding the place. After this 
incident a delegation went to Kiev to report. From Kiev an 
extraordinary prosecutor was sent to Zlatopol, who collected a 
mass of documentary evidence implicating Lopata, the members 
of the Chigirin Extraordinary Commission, and others. The 
prosecutor left Zlatopol on April 23, and stated that he was 
going to Kiev for a detachment, and that he would go with the 
detachment to Chigirin and would take all measures to put a 
stop to the criminal activities of the Chigirin "workers" and to 
clear the whole canton of Chigirin of bandits. But from that 
time the Executive Committee has received no information as 
to the results of the investigation, while it is reliably known that 
Lopata and the others are at liberty in Chigirin to this very day. 
Two days after the beginning of the pogrom in Zlatopol, on 
May 4, a detachment arrived there from Chigirin under the 
command of Kotzyr the younger, but this detachment only served 
to make the pogrom more violent, since the bandits felt complete 
impunity and even support from the soldiers and the commander 
of the detachment. Of the activities of these gentry details arc 
set forth in the report of A. Khromchenko. At present the 
situation in the town is tragic. The Jewish population is literally 
dying of hunger. The whole population is left without any 
means both the merchants, who were well-to-do before the 
pogrom, and the artisans, who have lost their instruments and 
materials. Famine typhus is raging in the town. The Executive 


Committee considers that the sum of 300,000 rubles, released by 
the governmental section for furnishing aid to Zlatopol, is en- 
tirely insufficient, since with present high prices such a sum can 
only serve for very temporary aid, and it is far from possible 
by such means to render assistance to the artisans, to get them 
the instruments of production and to provide for the collective 
shops. It is necessary also to consider that the Jewish Loan 
and Savings Association, and the co-operative "Self-aid," which 
supplied the Jewish poor people with their supplies of pro- 
visions, have been left without means and until now have not 
begun to function. These enterprises served eight thousand of 
the Jewish population, and this population cannot get along with- 
out them. They must be subsidized extensively in order that 
they may begin to operate again. It is also necessary to organ- 
ize the issuance to the population of long-time loans without 
interest, in order that they may again engage in their occupa- 
tions, and not be turned into chronic beggars. 

In conclusion we solicit for Zlatopol a sum of several million 
rubles. Only in that case can it be hoped that in time the popu- 
lation will be able to get out of its tragic situation. 

President of the Executive Committee (Signature). 
Assistant to the President (Signature). 


Pogrom of May 13-14, 1919 
Communication of Kummelman 

Matusovo is a town in the canton of Cherkassy with a popu- 
lation of seven or eight thousand, of which 160 to 180 families 
are Jewish. There is a sugar- factory with 200 local workers. 
The Jewish population of Matusovo lived almost entirely by 
petty trade. It was not very thrifty and remained in the same 
condition throughout the whole period of the war, and in con- 
trast to other places did not engage in speculation and did not 
get rich. In political matters the Jewish population had no 
interest in politics or party divisions. The relations between 
Jews and Christians were in general satisfactory, although iso- 
lated clashes had sometimes taken place. With the last change 
of government the relations between the two parts of the popu- 
lation changed sharply for the worse. The peasants of the 
region around Matusovo regarded the new regime with great 
suspicion; they considered it as something accidental and not 
to be taken seriously, almost as foreign as the regime of the 


Germans. This suspicion towards the new regime was arti- 
ficially stimulated in the peasant masses by the local intellect- 
uals, who from the first day were in opposition to the new 
regime. The local Ukrainian intellectuals, in the persons of the 
postmaster Kulik, the seminarist Masig, the teachers Palega, 
Garnitzsky, Zimnitzsky and others, carried on open agitation 
against the Soviet rule; and their chief trump in this game was 
the national question. "The government of Petlura," the post- 
master Kulik would explain to the peasants, "is our real, native 
Ukrainian government, but the government of the bolsheviki is 
a Jew government." The teacher Palega assured the peasants: 
"In Cherkassy I visited the commissariat of education, and what 
did I see there ? Nothing but Jews ; the whole commissariat is 
full of them." 

In the very first days of the new government, by order of 
the Soviet guerrilla detachment which passed through in pursuit 
of Petlura, there was formed in Matusovo a revolutionary com- 
mittee, which, however, did not decide a single question without 
an assembly. After three weeks the revolutionary committee 
was succeeded by an Executive Committee, but it was little 
different from the revolutionary committee; the same make-up, 
the same influence, the same "assembly" form of government, 
and finally the same negative attitude towards the Jewish portion 
of the population which was sharply manifested more than once 
(the cases of Leschinsky, Kholkovsky, Babitsky, the taking 
away of portions of land from Jews who had received them in 
1918, etc.) 

Several days before the pogrom the Executive Committee re- 
ceived from Shpola a provocatory document with the signature 
of a commissar of distinctly Jewish name (I think Goldstein), 
whose contents were as follows : that the churches should be 
sealed and the church furniture and fixtures brought to Shpola. 
The rumor of this "document" quickly spread among the peas- 
ants, and through them also among the Jews, who interpreted it 
as a signal for a pogrom. Two or three days later, on May 10, 
certain horsemen brought to Matusovo Grigoriev's manifesto 
("Universal"), which was made public on that same day by the 
secretary of the Executive Committee, Kesser, before a special 
assembly called for that purpose. Whether he really read this 
from the manifesto or whether it was his own invention, at any 
rate Kesser declared that an order had been received to destroy 
all Jews. The ground for such inventions was prepared to this 
extent, that the peasants saw nothing improbable in such an 
order, believed in it fully, and talked about it to the Jews they 


knew, some with malicious joy, some with sympathy. On the 
same day the Jews observed that Borodiansky, who had lived 
most among the peasants and best knew their activities and 
frame of mind, left the place with all his family. All these 
facts, together with many others, convinced the Jews of Matu- 
sovo that the same catastrophe which the Jews of Lebedin, Zlato- 
pol and other places had recently experienced was approaching 
them. Continuing to hope up to the last minute, though hoping 
rather for a miracle than for any definite help, some Jews on 
the day before the pogrom wanted to send their families and 
some of their things to Shpola, near by; but they met with the 
definite opposition of the militia. This still more increased the 
feeling of alarm, which grew with every minute. 

On the night of Monday, May 12, at 12.30, the pogrom began. 
That evening the Jews had begun to hide, some in barns of 
peasant-acquaintances, some in ravines and gardens. In the 
house of the smith Srul Kapustiansky there collected a consid- 
erable group of the more well-to-do Jews, who thought that 
here, as in Zlatopol, the poor and artisans would not be dis- 
turbed. But this expectation proved unreliable. Perhaps just 
because a considerable number of Jews were concentrated there, 
the bandits went thither first of all. About 11.30 at night a 
band of 25 men knocked at the house. The owner ran to the 
garret and thence began to cry for help. In reply he heard 
someone compassionately inquiring from below what the matter 
was. Kapustiansky was convinced that the bandits had de- 
parted and that he was now dealing with people of good inten- 
tions. He came down from the garret and opened the door to 
them. "Stand still!" cried one of the bandits, rushing in. Ka- 
pustiansky recognized among the bandits an acquaintance of his, 
and begged him to take his part, calling him by name. "Aha, 
you've recognized me, you damned Jew. Well, then, take thatl" 
And he killed him with a shot. At the shot his wife sprang 
forth with their three-months' child, but the same fate met 
them, too. Having finished with the Kapustianskys, the bandits 
rushed on into the house with wild cries : "Jewish wretches, how 
long are you going to keep ruling over us?" and opened an 
irregular fusillade among the people hiding in the house. As a 
result, only four of the sixteen people who were in the house 

On the next day, Tuesday the 13th, the Executive Committee 
called an assembly to decide the question of disposal of the 
bodies of the 12 Jews killed. The assembly decided to have 
certain peasants bury them near the synagogue. (There was no 


Jewish cemetery in Matusovo and the dead were usually carried 
to Shpola to be buried.) The Jews, who had almost all scat- 
tered by this time, somehow learned about this assembly and 
apparently laid hopes upon it. A certain girl, Aniuta Axelfeld, 
ran to the assembly and began to weep and entreat them to in- 
tervene, declaring that robbers had just attacked her house. 
But the assembly not only decisively refused to do anything, 
but even remained entirely uninterested when right there before 
their eyes a militiaman began to beat the girl. The girl started 
to run away, but the militiaman Sheremet ran after her, caught 
her in the prince's park and shot her. At this time, having de- 
cided about the bodies, the assembly proceeded to "current 
questions." The postmaster Kulik made known a telephone 
message which he alleged he had received to the effect that the 
communists were marching on Matusovo on account of the 
killing of the Jews. Kesser informed the assembly to the 
same effect. The drift of the information was that the com- 
munists and Jews had declared war on the peasants, 
and the latter, therefore, must kill all the Jews as quickly as 
possible. With this object the assembly decided to arm to the 
fullest extent, so as to resist both the invading communists and 
the attacking Jews. With this object a military troop of forty 
men was organized then and there, into which the most flagrant 
bandits entered, the two brothers Krasota, Sheremet, the 
ex-commander of militia Kikidanetz, and others. The 
assembly decided to bring its decisions to the attention of 
the other villages which composed the volost (district) of Matu- 
sovo, and to propose to them that they, too, organize their mili- 
tary troops on the pattern of Matusovo, for active warfare with 
the Jews and communists. The military troop immediately left 
the place to ward off the imaginary attack of the Jews, and in 
the country they happened upon a group of 26 Jews with a 
Rabbi at their head. These were killed to a man. On the same 
day fifteen other people were killed in various places. 

On the next day, May 14, an assembly was called again. This 
time two teachers appeared, Prisovosky and Bubnov, who 
decided to come energetically to the defense of the Jews, point- 
ing out that the power of the Jews was already gone and 
only poor wretches remained. At first they were not al- 
lowed to speak; the other teachers, their own colleagues, 
attacked them, threatening them with chastisement. But by this 
time the peasants had had time to sober down somewhat. They 
were now convinced that all the tales of Jewish attacks were 
nothing but pure inventions of Kulik, Kesser, Masin and others. 


The eight or ten Jews who remained in the town (the others 
who had not been killed had fled to Shpola) were brought to 
the volost headquarters, and thence to Nukhim Mokievsky's 
barn, where they were kept under guard. The arrival of Soviet 
forces freed them. 

At the present time only a single family remained living in 
Matusovo, that of Borko Borodiansky, which adopted the ortho- 
dox religion after the pogrom. For this the peasants allowed 
them to remain in Matusovo, returned a pair of horses stolen 
from them during the pogrom, some of their other stolen prop- 
erty, their parcel of land, etc. 


Pogrom of May 13-14, 1919 

From the Materials of the Authorized Investigator I. G. 

In the chain of Jewish pogroms which took place in Ukraine, 
the pogrom in Rotmistrovka is one of the most conspicuous 

Rotmistrovka is on the road from Shpola to Cherkassy, 18 
versts from Smela, 7 versts from the railroad station of Vladi- 
mirovka, on the line Fastov-Znamenka. The town counts a 
population of 350 Jewish families, the majority of whom lived 
in good circumstances, being materially provided for, thanks to 
the position which the town occupies in the commerce between 
Smela and Cherkassy, on the one hand, and the towns lying 
beyond it on the other hand. 

The population was always on good terms with the local peas- 
ant population, dwelling near the town. The local peasantry 
was always considered pacific. No disorders of any kind had 
ever occurred in Rotmistrovka neither specifically Jewish nor 
any other. It is a characteristic fact that after the October revo- 
lution, when the peasants in the neighboring villages plundered 
estates, our peasants remained passive on account of the fear 
that they might suffer for it afterwards. Owing to this the 
greater part of the Jewish population became permeated with 
the conviction that they would have no pogrom. This convic- 
tion was not shaken even when rumors began to arrive from 
the neighboring towns and villages about the Jewish pogroms 
which were going on there. And this was the principal reason 
why the town was so utterly destroyed not a single chair or 
piece of pottery being left 


The start of the pogrom may be considered the attack on the 
owner of a mill, which occurred on Saturday, May 10, and dur- 
ing which two Jewish members of the night watch were killed. 
It became clear that the bandits now felt that there was no 
government and that killing Jews was no great sin. This inci- 
dent produced great alarm among the Jewish population, and 
fear began to spring up among them, which increased on the 
next day, when the pogrom in Smela became known, and the 
overthrow of the existing regime by Grigoriev, and his mani- 
festo ("Universal"), which was being read before the peasants. 
In the evening a committee of the poorer classes began to make 
searches preparatory to requisitions, which no longer had the 
character of earlier searches, but became more malicious. The 
searches continued on the next day, too, and in general it was 
felt that the atmosphere was getting more tense all the time. 
Nevertheless the confidence of the Jewish population was still 
great enough so that life continued to flow along almost nor- 

On Monday, May 12, at night a band of 50 men arrived, 
among them not a few locals. On Tuesday morning the pogrom 
began. The local peasants took part in it. Later peasants from 
the nearby villages also collected, and the pogrom was in full 
swing. Murders, however, did not take place by day. Only 
towards night, perceiving their complete impunity, the bandits 
committed their first murder of a father and son, after they 
had bought their freedom. In the early part of the night they 
began to set on fire houses and shops, and the whole population 
broke and ran to hide, everyone wherever he could. Many Jews, 
as is the custom, rushed to the cemetery, which is outside the 
city, and digging themselves in between the graves, expected 
death any minute, as it threatened them with every shot and 
tongue of flame. So it went on for about eight hours, when the 
bandits really did arrive. After hysterical, heart-rending cries 
the Jews succeeded in ransoming themselves with money and 
everything they had with them. We were ordered not to go 
away before several hours should have passed, and only later 
were we driven forth to put out the conflagration. There we 
saw before us a terrible spectacle of plundered, burning, empty 
houses. There and then began to peer out, as if out of a mouse- 
hole, faces that were beaten unmercifully, full of mortal terror, 
and we began to hear of frightful, barbarous things. Everyone 
hurried to his own house, and those who found the four walls 
bare, the windows and frames broken, feathers strewn about, 
etc., were lucky, for many, very many found only mountains 


of ashes and the bodies of their dear ones in rivers of blood. 
Two were burnt after having first been shot and then hung. 

But no one had time to look around before another gang 
arrived, and seized whatever anyone had left. Then the entire 
population was driven into a prayer-house, where 1,200 people, 
men, women, and children, jammed into a single heap, lived 
through endless hours of mortal terror. There was a moment 
when they actually had bombs in their hands to blow up the 
prayer-house, and it was only by a miracle that the Jews suc- 
ceeded in saving themselves with a ransom. No small amount 
of mortal terror did the population live through, and for the 
space of eight days after this no one ventured to go out of the 
yard where the prayer-house was (it belonged to a well-known 
Rabbi of Rotmistrovka). If anyone, owing to want and 
hunger, did venture to go out into the village to get anything, 
he went with uncertain footsteps, trembling every minute. 
Several days later, in fact, after the pogrom, when a boy of 
sixteen, Brunstein, went out to look for his family, who had 
hidden, he was wounded. And when the local peasants, thinking 
him dead, told the family so that they might come and get him, 
no one dared to go. Later when his brother ran to him, the 
peasants, seeing that he was still alive, shot him to death. For 
several days the dead and wounded lay about before the Jews 
made up their minds to collect them under the protection of a 
local militiaman. Almost all the slain were stripped naked; 
some, according to what eyewitnesses say, were stripped on the 
second and third day after they had been murdered, by local 
peasants, who went around looking to see if anything had been 

The following fact is also worthy of note. In one house a 
father and son were shot. The father was afterwards hung, and 
all this was done before the eyes of the wife and mother. The 
mother implored them to kill her, too, but they would not, and 
when she began to scream, they drove her from the house. In 
one house, after taking every thing out of the house, the ban- 
dits stood up the entire family, which consisted of four persons 
(the father of 65 years, mother of the same age, a son of 30 and 
daughter of 28), stood them up to be shot, beginning with the 
daughter, as revenge on the parents. The son out of fright fell 
down beside his sister, and they thought he was dead. Later, 
when he went out of the house, he saw the bandits coming to 
make sure that he was dead, because they remembered that they 
had fired only at the father, mother and sister. 
A third fact worthy of attention is this. A woman (the wife 

SMELA 303 

of the local Rabbi) ran out of the city with her children. On 
the way she was wounded in the leg. Her son, aged 14, seeing 
that her blood was flowing, asked some passing peasants to help 
her. One of them volunteered to take her to a neighboring 
village, and going up to her ran her through with a pike. Her 
children, a boy of 14 and an infant of five, he wounded with the 
pike. Many such facts might be enumerated. There are two 
others which are worthy of being recorded. A mother and sev- 
eral children, trying to hide, remained in a forest. Hearing 
firing, the mother, fearing that they would be discovered be- 
cause of the cries of her two-months-old baby, strangled him 
with her own hands. An old mother with her daughter and five 
children (the oldest twelve and the youngest half a year) were 
running away to hide. On the road all were killed. (The chil- 
dren of three years and a year and a half had their heads 
crushed.) The youngest infant, of half a year, they left there. 
The next day he died of hunger. 


Pogrom of May 14-15, 1919 
I. Testimony of Moishe Sumsky, Merchant, 52 Years Old 

I and several other Jews hid in a Russian's garret. Several 
armed men came in and asked whether there weren't Jews there. 
That moment a baby began to cry in the garret, and this gave us 
away. A fearful scene began. Wild cries resounded: "Come 
here, comrades, here is where the Jew-communists are hiding. 
Come down ! To the wall !" We were searched, and everything 
we had taken from us. It was awful. The women and children 
raised the most terrible cries. They drew us up to shoot us, and 
our Russian protector with us. With great difficulty we suc- 
ceeded in saving our lives. They left the Russian householder 
alone only because he was not the owner of the house. 


II. Testimony of Hannah Pavletssky, 38 Years Old, Merchant 

On Sunday, May 18, after all the ways of leaving the city 
had been cut off (the soldiers met those who tried to leave with 
pointed rifles), we crept through the fence to a Russian neigh- 
bor's garret. Besides our family there were about 15 other 
people there men, women and children. About 9 A.M. we 
heard noises and the cry: "Haven't you some Jews here?" We 


all got scared and one began to go down from the garret. Im- 
mediately a man in military uniform ran up, fired twice, and 
cried: "Come here, comrades, you see where the Jew-commun- 
ists are firing on us from." In answer to his summons there 
gathered about ten armed men in military uniforms and shouted : 
"Come down, come down, you communists, Jewish dogs, give 
up your weapons." And they immediately began to throw us 
down from the garret. When we came down we were carefully 
searched, and all our money and clothes taken from us. Some- 
one gave the command: "All to the wall." The children who 
were with us raised a scream and began to cry hysterically. 
Then they separated the women from the men. The latter, in- 
cluding also the Russian householder, were taken to the com- 
mandant of the station Bobrinsky. The wife and daughter of 
the householder swore that not one of us had a weapon, and 
that they had admitted us to their house because we lived peace- 
fully and amicably together. Finally the Russian householder 
was freed because it was not his own house. And we Jews were 
freed because on one of us was found a document showing that 
he worked in the mines. 


III. Testimony of Krasnopolsky, Aged 36 

On the morning of May 11 I heard firing at the door. Bullets 
were coming through the window. We swiftly left the house and 
went into our 'own garden. After a few hours I saw through 
a crack in the fence that Mazariuk, a former student, now a 
militiaman, was organizing a band of pupils of the middle 
schools ; he went with them into the neighboring yard, dug up 
fifteen rifles there, and then went to report that Jews were hid- 
ing where they lived, and afterwards started pillaging with the 
entire gang. 

IV. Testimony of Chernikhov, Aged 24 

On Sunday, May 11, at noon, the Grigorievists came to our 
house, conducted a search, and finding on one of us a Zionistic 
document with the mogen dovid (Shield of David), began to yell 
that the owner of this document was a genuine communist and 
stood him against the wall. When it was explained to them that 
this was not a communist document, they took the goods and 
clothing and departed. After two hours they returned again 
to look for the "communist," but he was no longer there. 

SMELA 305 

V. Testimony of Fastovsky 

On May 14, at twelve midnight, there came to our house four 
armed men in military uniforms, who demanded weapons, 
searched us, and beat us terribly. My husband gave them a 
thousand rubles and they left the house and ordered them to go 
along. They took my husband and three sons with them. Half 
an hour later the youngest son came running back and asked 
for another thousand rubles. He hastily explained that they 
had been terribly tormented along the road. His father be- 
sought them: "Let me live for the sake of my little children." 
The reply was: "Shut up, Jew." They took them to the river, 
stripped them naked, and began to beat them with gun-butts. 
When the father couldn't speak from pain, he cried : "I must 
have a thousand rubles more ; take them, but let us live." When 
the boy arrived with the money, he found his father and two 
brothers lying dead in pools of blood. 

VI. Testimony of Gersh Kazakevich, Aged 56, Baker 

From May 10 to 18 there were about a hundred people hiding 
from the pogrom in his dwelling. All that time the owner's son 
kept walking up and down in peasant's garb, guarding the place. 
The bands that passed took him for a peasant and asked: 
"Where is the headquarters of the Jew-communists here?" He 
replied to this that the Jews had already been plundered. On 
Thursday, the 15th, in the evening, bandits surrounded the house 
and demanded that he give the Jews up to them, but he insisted 
that there were no Jews there. They departed. On the next 
day, May 16, they came again, surrounded the house, and de- 
manded that the Jews be surrendered; if not, they would shoot 
the son. The latter was compelled to hide. They broke into 
the house, and seized five Jews, whom they beat terribly and 
took away to the railway train. 

VII. Testimony of David Meyer Goldstein 

On Saturday, May 17, 1919, at 6 A.M., bandits broke into the 
house of Aria Levitzsky, found several people there, and de- 
manded money from them. The first to be killed was the teacher 
of the Talmud-Torah, who had no money. The second victim 
was Feiga Zhukialianskaia, an old woman of 72; she begged to 
take the place of the young people. They then collected 1,300 
rubles from the witness, and afterwards left the house. As soon 
as the armed bandits left the dwelling, a crowd of peasant men 


and women with sacks and baskets broke in and divided every- 
thing they found in the house among themselves. 

Those who remained thought that the presence of the corpses 
would frighten off the peasants and save them from further tor- 
ments. In reality it was still worse. Every new band, on seeing 
the corpses, became convinced that here the Jews had defended 
themselves with weapons in their hands, and demanded of the 
living that they give up their weapons, and stood them up 
against the wall with the vilest abuse. All day long we kept 
ransoming ourselves with money. 


Pogrom of May 18-20, 1919 

Report on the Pogrom and Bloody Massacre Which Took Place 

in the Town of Alexandrovka, Government of Kiev 

(Station of Fundukeievka) 

The pogrom and the murders began May 18. A squadron of 
Ataman Grigoriev's detachment stopped at the station of Fun- 
dukeievka. A group of fifteen or twenty armed men went to 
the town "to look for communists." The bold procedure of 
Comrade Vnikhrist at the station, and of Comrade K. Zhadon, 
who met them on the bridge with a white flag in his hand, so 
as to avert a disaster, were of no avail; both nearly paid with 
their lives. According to the words of several eyewitnesses, the 
Grigorievists were guided by one of the local intellectuals. Com- 
rade Zhadon can confirm this statement. 

They began the devastation with the first houses, in regular 
order. Immediately behind them trailed bands of local pil- 
lagers. Almost nothing was left in the dwellings. With the 
first shots all the population of the outskirts rushed in a panic 
into the center of town. From some dwellings they did not 
have time to flee, and fell victims of the bandits in their own 
homes, five in one family, two in another ; two were killed on the 
street. The dead proved to be exclusively people who had been 
sick. With that day began a continuous series of looting, devas- 
tation, and barbarous murders. The authorities did nothing. 
On the night of the 15th they plundered several homes and 
killed one man; he recognized the robbers and called one by 
name. Heartrending cries for help were heard, but there was 
no source from which help could be expected. The population 
was terror-stricken; most of them had given up living in their 
homes, abandoning everything to fate. 


The fatal days for the Jewish population of the town were 
the 19th and 20th of May. On May 18 one of the assistants 
of Grigoriev by telephone from Tzybuliev warned the com- 
mander of the local detachment, Comrade Shostnik, that he was 
sending a cavalry detachment with the object of rooting out the 
communists. Though Comrade Shostnik says he assured him 
that there were no communists in the town, it had no effect on 
"the protector of the Soviet power without communes." At 
eleven o'clock on the 19th, after a short bombardment with can- 
non and machine guns, the first horsemen appeared and began 
to fire at close range, "to take them at sight," as they expressed 
it. There were heard cries, shrieks, groans of the wounded and 
dying, mingled with fierce commands of "Give us money," the 
sound of broken glass, and the crash of shattered doors and 
shutters. They robbed and murdered without mercy. The num- 
ber of the murderers increased all the time; other local robbers 
appeared again, at whose hands more fell than at the Grig- 

They hunted the people out and killed them in orchards, gar- 
dens, houses, garrets, cellars, rubbish-pits; they killed old men, 
middle-aged, and young women, and babes at the breast. No 
mercy was shown anywhere to anyone. The Russian intellec- 
tuals were passive at the very best, allowing no one to hide in 
their houses, with very rare exceptions. There appeared a band 
of bag-carriers, mostly of the town and the neighboring villages, 
who cleaned out the dwellings, not disdaining anything, even 
little pots. 

On the night of the 20th, exclusively local thieves plundered 
and killed in one home eight people, next door to the building 
of the Executive Committee of the volost (district) ; in another, 
in the outskirts, thirteen or fourteen people. Life in the town 
stopped ; living corpses moved about ; all the houses were broken 
open, with smashed doors, and shutters torn off, and windows 
broken. Inside the homes was the most frightful chaos. Fur- 
niture was everywhere upset, and broken up, all papers were 
strewn about on the floor. In some places, where the pillows 
and feather-beds had not been stolen, the pillow-slips had been 
taken off and the feathers scattered about; and on the following 
days even these wretched relics were carried off in bags. Ex- 
actly the same scene of murder and destruction was repeated 
on May 31, again by the Grigorievists with the energetic par- 
ticipation of local people. In these two days alone there were 
more than 160 victims. After the 21st murders stopped, since 
Soviet forces arrived; but the visiting of houses continued, for 


even some of the troops who had arrived did not restrain them- 
selves from that sin. Complete quiet had not even yet been 
restored. The town presents a painful picture. The windows 
and doors of most of the houses are boarded up, the inhabitants 
are taking refuge several families in one dwelling ; want is acute ; 
there are no clothes, under or outer, shoes, glass, or many other 
of the most necessary things. Many have fled, destined for hun- 
ger and privation in strange parts. 

The third attack of the Grigorievists took place in June. 
They took advantage of a temporary departure of the Soviet 
forces. As after May 21, all the Jewish population was herded 
together in the yard of the Executive Committee of the volost, 
and there robbed man by man. From some they even took off 
their last jackets, cloaks, boots and shoes. Besides all this they 
imposed a contribution of 75,000 rubles. The tortured and ter- 
rorized population for lack of means had to borrow several 
thousand rubles from the Russian credit association to save 
their lives. On the outside of the walls and doors of the Jew- 
ish inhabitants crosses were depicted with chalk, and saints' 
images were set up in the windows. Thus were the bloody 
massacres and pogroms prepared and carried out in Alexan- 
drovka and neighboring places. We are informed that in the 
town of Medvedovka the surrounding peasants went even 
farther; they took apart and carried away the houses and other 
buildings belonging to the Jews, and none of the fleeing popula- 
tion dares to return and interfere with the destruction of the 
dwellings built by bitter toil. More than 500 dwellings have 
been destroyed, with a population of 3,200 to 3,300 people. 


Pogrom of May 27, 1919 
Testimony of Krasniansky, Taken Down by Maizlish, August 8 

The town of Shpola is a railroad station in the Zvenigorod 

The pogrom was perpetrated by bands of neighboring peasants 
(from Lebedin and Listopadovo), going under the flag of Grig- 
oriev. A band of about 150 to 200 men appeared on Monday 
evening, May 26, and went around to the synagogues, and com- 
manded all the men to go to the station. Close to 1,000 Jews 
obeyed without question and collected at the station. There they 
separated out the old men and declared that they were going to 
shoot them. When cries and entreaties arose, the bandits stated 


that they would let them live if they would get them a certain 
quantity of provisions and money (sugar, tea, flour, etc.). Two 
hours time-limit was set. A commission was chosen which 
started to collect the provisions. But firing began at the station 
of Tzvetkovo (12 versts from Shpola), and the gang got fright- 
ened and left. 

On the next morning (Tuesday, May 27), a reconnoitring 
party came, and, finding that there was no one in the town, 
informed the gang of the fact. They immediately appeared and 
began to loot. The population, in a panic, scattered and hid. 
All the Jewish dwellings and some shops were plundered (at 
the beginning of the year there had been a great fire in Shpola 
and almost all the stores were burned). They took away goods, 
clothing, and underclothes, and spoiled and destroyed what was 
left. On the same day fourteen were killed, mostly by fire- 
arms, some accidentally, by stray bullets. The local peas- 
ants at first hid the Jews, but then began to say that they were 
afraid themselves. They took no part in the pillaging. Crosses 
were placed on the doors of non-Jewish dwellings. In the even- 
ing Soviet forces arrived and forced out the bandits. 

Three weeks after the first pogrom a detachment of Grigorie- 
vists with yellow flags passed by Shpola, and about twelve 
men entered the town, looted (valuables, watches, and money; 
they didn't stay long enough to get much) for several 
hours, and barbarously killed three. One fourteen-year-old girl 
was violated. She was operated on in the hospital, but died. 
Later it was said that these bandits who entered the town were 
disarmed by their own commanders. 


Pogrom of May 12-14, 1919 
From [the newspaper} "Kom. Fon" No. 1 

The pogrom was organized by Grigorievists and began on 
Monday, May 12. First the Grigorievists occupied Kriukov (a 
suburb of Kremenchug), and made it their first business to plun- 
der the Jews of that place. On the night of May 12 began their 
entry into Kremenchug. As soon as they broke into the town 
they surrounded Jewish houses under pretext of making 
searches and taking everything that came to their hands. On 
this day, May 13, there were also cases of murders. The prin- 
cipal bacchanalia began on May 14. By this time a Committee 


of Community Safety had had time to organize. On the 15th 
the Committee formed a guard of Russian workmen, which suc- 
ceeded in stopping the pogrom. On Monday, May 21, a bolshevist 
detachment entered Kremenchug. During the time of the po- 
grom in the city there were 21 people killed. Besides this, the 
Grigorievist gang at the time of their departure massacred an 
entire Jewish family of five persons in Kriukov. While they 
were withdrawing towards the station the Kobeliak Grigorievists 
killed all the Jews they met. 


Kamenka is a town in the canton of Chigirin. It has about 
six thousand inhabitants; about 540 Jewish families. The po- 
grom was perpetrated by the Grigorievists in the middle of 
May, approximately May 14-20. There were 76 Jews killed (62 
men and 14 women). 


From Report of Authorised Investigator I. S. Braudo, of 
July 10, 1919 

I think that the conditions in Uman and its canton are suf- 
ficiently explained in my preceding letters and telegrams. I will 
add only that I returned to-day I slipped away from a trip 
through the canton. I was in the small town of Dubovo, twenty 
versts from Uman. The pogrom and massacre which have lasted 
there more than a month and a half have been so exceptional in 
their character and degree of ferocity, so rich in "pogrom-crea- 
tiveness" and initiative, that one is inclined to believe that Dubovo 
is an unhappy exception in the records of pogroms in recent 
days. In a few days I shall communicate the chronological 
course of events and details, together with lists of the tortured 
and wounded. In Dubovo I succeeded in opening a feeding 
station for furnishing food (flour, potatoes, millet, and meat) to 
280 people, among them 134 children. Under the present mon- 
strous conditions there, it is impossible to furnish any other 
help. And at the present moment it is not certain what is hap- 
pening to the Jewish population of Dubovo. I left the place has- 
tily, since eight versts away in the direction of Golovanevsk 
some gang or other had again appeared and gone on the rampage. 


Peasant cabmen returning to Dubovo report that they were 
stopped on the road to Golovanevsk by bandits, who took out 
the Jewish passengers and bade the peasants turn back and drive 
the horses fast, not looking around. A Christian inhabitant of 
the town, a man with an excellent past record, has been taken 
into the service as manager of the feeding station in Dubovo, 
and the Jews have entire confidence in him as to the work of 
assistance. The local Jews are so frightened and exhausted that 
not one of them would consent to manage the station, in spite 
of the dire need. There is no governmental victualling organ 
there. The provisions must be bought at market prices, which 
are arbitrary and capricious and change almost from hour to 

From Dubovo I intended to go to Golovanevsk, which is 25 
versts from there. Golovanevsk, thanks to its exemplarily or- 
ganized, self-denying, and excellently armed Jewish self-defense, 
has become the center in which the refugees of the whole district 
take refuge. There are more than 3,000 refugees there. The 
want is terrible. When I was in Dubovo, Golovanevsk was sur- 
rounded by rebels. Willy-nilly, I had to postpone my visit until 
the next "breathing-spell." In general, moving from place to 
place in the district involves great danger. Around the cities 
and towns are gangs, rebel bands, groups, crowds, mere peasant- 
agriculturists with pitchforks and scythes, with various watch- 
words, with all sorts of demands, or without these flimsy ex- 
cuses ; all of them beat, torture and mutilate Jews. They count 
many village policemen their ringleaders. Almost all of these 
bear nicknames taken from popular stories or from criminal 

TALNOIE must also not be passed by without assistance. It 
is only 45 versts thither by cart ; but the trip is dangerous. You 
have to go by train, and I am informed that the road has now 
been mended. I expect to go to-morrow or the next day. I 
fear, and I think not without reason, that the occurrences in 
Talnoie caused "spatters" [similar occurrences in the neighbor- 
hood] and that this locality has its Dubovo, Ladyzhenka, Kristi- 
novka and the like. 

In UMAN quiet has been established; the 8th and 1st Soviet 
regiments have left town. When I returned from Dubovo I 
did not know the place. The shutters, doors, and some shops 
were open; no firing was audible, and you saw no murdered 
gray-haired, long-skirted "communist"- Jews. In the city there is 
an international regiment, under revolutionary discipline. You 
can move freely through the town up to ten o'clock at night. It 


is only during the last two days that it has been possible to work 
calmly, reflectively. 

The remainder of the report is devoted to the practical work 
in Uman and its district. 

Pogrom of May 12-14, 1919 

I. Testimony of the Student B. Z. Rabinovich, Taken Down 
by S. Y. Maizlish 

In the region of Uman and its canton the rebel detachments 
of Klimenko, Tiutiunik, and Popov were operating. The pogrom, 
which took place May 12-14, 1919, was perpetrated by Klimenko's 
bands, which were joined by a part of the city bourgeoisie and 
various criminal elements. The rebels with Klimenko at their 
head occupied Uman on Monday, May 12, on which day and on 
the following days, Tuesday and Wednesday, they perpetrated 
looting and murders in colossal proportions. They stayed about 
ten days, and on May 22, under pressure from Soviet forces, 
left Uman. The course of events before and during the pogrom 
appears in the following aspect. 

The Soviet regime was established in Uman March 11. The 
young Jews of Uman took an active part in the communistic 
movement in general and in the organization of the organs of 
the Soviet regime in particular. At the head of the Executive 
organs was the Jew Buhl; a decided majority of the commis- 
sariats and other higher offices was occupied by Jews. The 
Jewish element in considerable proportions was installed in all 
possible institutions and offices. From the very beginning of the 
establishment of the Soviet regime in Uman the preponderance 
of Jews everywhere struck one forcibly. And from various quar- 
ters there began to spread criticism and expressions of extreme 
disapproval regarding the "Jewish oppression." Anti-Semitic 
attitudes arose, and flate-ups, which later led to active operations, 
in connection with measures adopted by the Soviet regime re- 
garding provisions and other matters which touched the inter- 
ests of the peasants. 

The surrounding peasants became violently dissatisfied and 
antagonists of the Soviet rule. This secret dissatisfaction soon 
began to appear on the surface, and they gradually poured into 
the organization of the rebel detachments with the object of 
moving on Uman and overthrowing the bolshevist regime. 


The first swallow on the rebel horizon was the Ukrainian left 
social-revolutionary, S. Shtogrin. Himself a native of Uman, 
having studied in the Uman horticultural school, Shtogrin was 
a prominent political worker and was popular as a protector of 
the interests of the peasants. Shtogrin demanded that the Left 
Ukrainian Social-revolutionaries be allowed places in the Execu- 
tive Committee, and that the Soviet and the Executive Commit- 
tee be reorganized generally in such a way that the peasant 
element should be put in a majority. Having accomplished 
nothing, Shtogrin made himself the leader of the rebels and 
began to agitate against the Soviet regime and to prepare for 
an open uprising. But this agitation was not only anti-Soviet, 
but also anti-Jewish. The government began to oppose Shtogrin, 
arrested him and shot him. When he was examined in the 
Extraordinary Committee, accusations were also brought against 
him that he was carrying on an anti-Semitic agitation, and he 
was asked if he didn't understand that this might lead to a 
Jewish pogrom. Shtogrin declared that it was true that he was 
urging the peasants to a pogrom, "for," said he, "it was impos- 
sible to rouse the peasants in any other way." 

After the shooting of Shtogrin the wave of rebellion grew 
more violent. The peasants of nearly all the surrounding vil- 
lages arose and under Klimenko's leadership approached the 
city. It was known all the time that the rebels were all about 
the city, but it was not expected that they would attack the city 
itself. Meanwhile the Soviet regime called an assembly of peas- 
ants, which from its very first steps took up opposition to the 
existing government and carried a resolution demanding a re- 
organization of the Soviet and the Executive Committee and a 
change of all previous policies. The government replied to this 
by dispersing the assembly. This occurred on Sunday, May 11. 
The dispersal of the assembly served as the spark which lighted 
all the inflammable material that had been heaped up. On Mon- 
day, May 12, in the morning, the rebels entered the city, and on 
the same day the pogrom began. The city was abandoned by 
the bolsheviki without resistance, although the numbers of the 
rebels were considerably less than the numbers of the effective 
Soviet detachment in Uman. The pogrom, as was said, lasted 
through the 12th, 13th, and 14th of May. The looting was not 
of an intensive nature; few things were stolen, and furniture 
was not destroyed. They took away mainly money and valu- 
ables, and searched everywhere for weapons. The material 
losses, according to the inhabitants, were relatively small, per- 
haps a million in all, whereas, as the people of Uman say, the 


8th Soviet regiment (which arrived afterwards) stole incom- 
parably more up in the tens of millions. 

Separate groups and whole bands of rebels went around from 
house to house making searches, hunting for weapons, with the 
watchword: "Give us the Jew-Communists," and at the same 
lime looted and killed. It must be said that among the peasant 
rebels, there were very many quiet and well-behaved persons, 
who, when they searched, did not harm anyone, and even reas- 
sured the people. Much greater zeal was shown in the pogrom 
by local bourgeois, and other elements which adhered to the 
rebels for the sake of pillaging and making money. The killings 
in the overwhelming majority of cases were of the character of 
shootings. In rare instances disfigurements took place, and mur- 
ders that were more outspoken in barbarity. 

Although .they were searching for communists, Christian com- 
munists were not touched. For instance, bandits came into a 
certain yard searching for one Kutzin, who had once had a 
work-shop and was now serving in the department of manu- 
factures of the Soviet People's Economy, but who had nothing 
in common with the communists. They were looking for him 
because a Russian neighbor had indicated him as a communist. 
But he was not found. Hereupon someone said that the treas- 
urer of the Extraordinary Committee, named Pavlov, lived there. 
"Is he a Jew?" immediately asked the bandits. When they re- 
ceived the answer, "No, he's a Russian," they waved their hands 
and said: "Then we don't want him." 

During the pogrom there were scenes and episodes not devoid 
of interest. The student R. was being dragged off to be shot; 
they demanded of him: "Give us two revolvers," and no argu- 
ments or entreaties of his parents availed. Along with him 
they seized two other young men, neighbors, and took them 
away. Suddenly one of the latter fell in a swoon, and there 
was a pause in the procession; the bandits left them in peace 
and were on the point of going away. But in a short time 
they came back after the student R. Finding that he had not 
fled during the interruption, and that he was ready to go with 
them, they said in astonishment: "Why, he didn't run away!" 
and left him in peace. 

Women in general were spared, and if among the slain there 
were about twenty per cent of the female sex, this is explained 
by the fact that they killed such women as tried to save their 
husbands, brothers, etc., and clung to the bandits with entreaties 
and cries. 

In the courtyard of Kahan's house were shot nine men and 


one pregnant young woman (Zhuravskaia-Kushnir), who was 
fired upon in the abdomen. This woman rushed to save her 
husband, and fell, struck down by the bullet. The slayers im- 
mediately began to express regret that they had fired upon this 
beautiful young woman, and even tried to save her; they pro- 
posed to her mother to take her to the hospital and have her 
treated. One in particular was overwhelmed by the voluntary 
and heroic death of this woman. In many houses which he 
entered in the further attacks, he gloomily and regretfully said 
(in Ukrainian) : "Ah, we killed a Jewess in the Kahan house; 
how she looked at me before she died I shall never, never for- 
get the eyes of that Jewess." 

It is hard to determine the exact number of the slain, for the 
dead were collected by non-Jews and buried in one common 
grave. Interesting was the superstitious fear of their victims 
manifested by the pogromists. They began to bury the dead on 
Wednesday, May 14. The Jews were not yet venturing to go 
out of the houses ; murders were still going on in the city. The 
authorities took the initiative in the matter of removing the 
corpses. Several days later, when the Jews were allowed to 
appear on the streets, the relatives of the dead went to the 
cemetery to open the common grave and transfer the bodies to 
separate graves. But a throng of bourgeois (mostly participants 
in the pogrom) blocked the way and declared that they would 
not let them go to the cemetery and disturb the corpses. They 
openly explained their conduct by fear of their victims. "You 
can't disturb them, or they will be angry and avenge themselves 
on us," they said. The Jews had to return to the city without 
accomplishing anything; and the grave remained unopened. It 
is believed that the number of the killed was three to four 

There were many cases of Jews whom Christians concealed in 
their homes. For instance a priest named Nikolsky, well-known 
as a black-hundreder, also concealed Jews and helped them. 
But in general the average Russian intellectuals were hostile in 
their attitude and refused refuge. Many were very content with 
the pogrom and among some parts of the population there was 
even exultation. This cannot at all be said regarding the Ukrain- 
ians, that is the nationalistically inclined Ukrainian population 
of Uman, who behaved themselves very well and sympathetic- 
ally to the Jews. As one native of Uman said, "The Ukrainians 
of Umari are in this respect above all praise." 

Some days after the pogrom some one circulated the rumor 


that the Jews had poisoned the water at the tank-house, and 
that they were giving out poisoned water. Even such persons 
as Nagorny, the director of the female gymnasium, circulated 
this rumor. It was necessary to name a commission of physi- 
cians, which published a proclamation to the inhabitants saying 
that the water was drinkable. 

On Friday, May 16, the teachers of religion in the educational 
institutions published an address to the Christian population, 
adjuring them not to shed any more Jewish blood and to stop 
the pogrom. 

Two cases are known of the killing of Christians. The 
sailor Straigorodsky was killed. He had been in the habit of 
traveling around at the head of a detachment through the vil- 
lages, establishing "Kombeds" (Committees of the Poor), quell- 
ing the peasants, levying requisitions, and in general strengthen- 
ing the Soviet rule. There was personal animosity against him. 
Davidenko (pseudonym Chalai) was also killed. 

The rebels remained about ten days in Uman. They organized 
a government in the city, issued a newspaper and published proc- 
lamations. Under pressure from Soviet forces the rebels left 
Uman and scattered about the surrounding country. Now the 
Soviet regime in Uman is organized on different principles. The 
majority of the places in the Executive Committee are left to 
the peasants; many of the demands previously presented by the 
representatives of the rebels have been satisfied. The number 
of Jews in responsible positions is now notably less. 

II. Report of an Assembly of Party Workers and People in, 

Public Life in the City of Uman, called by the Regional 

Director of the Head Mission of the Russian Society of 

the Red Cross, on the Question of the Course and 

Proportions of Local Pogroms 

At the assembly Comrade Kh. D. Proskurovsky read the fol- 
lowing statement: 

UMAN is a cantonal capital in the government of Kiev, with 
a population of approximately sixty to sixty-five thousand. Of 
these, in approximate figures, thirty-five to forty thousand are 
Jews, twenty to twenty-two thousand Ukrainians and Russians, 
and about three thousand Poles. The Jews constitute an over- 
whelming majority of the population, occupying the central 
streets and having entirely surrounded the central district, ex- 
cept for some small streets where live the well-to-do Polish 
inhabitants, the Ukrainian-Russian officialdom, and in general 

UMAN 317 

the local so-called Christian aristocracy. The suburbs are settled 
in an overwhelming majority by petty bourgeois. The Jewish 
population of Uman lived principally by small handicrafts and 
trade. The percentage of the liberal professions was rather 
large: physicians, lawyers, midwives, surgeons, etc.; middlemen 
in various commercial operations, so-called brokers, especially 
numerous those dealing in grain and various food-products ; but 
there was also a considerable percentage of people living by 
harder labor; draymen, porters, water-carriers, sawyers, common 
laborers, etc. The larger part of the Jewish population lived 
in poverty and want. Exceptional were some tens of wealthy 
men, hundreds of men of means, a thousand or two of people 
in moderate circumstances, who had more or less constant earn- 
ings. The Ukrainians and Russians supplied the officials and 
employees in all state institutions ; they were the ruling, govern- 
ing class. The mass of Christians lived in the suburbs; their 
occupations were largely (1) traffic in food products and pro- 
visions, (2) production and sale of leather wares, (3) service 
(house-porters, domestic servants, firemen, policemen, wardens, 
etc.), work in the factories and workshops, and in the building 
trades, as pavers, plasterers, etc. The most of them owned 
property in the suburbs of the city: small houses, barns, small 
gardens, etc. The Polish population was the best provided for 
in the city, and consisted of landowners, professors, managers of 
estates, directors of sugar factories, the higher and lower per- 
sonnel of agricultural-economic undertakings and factories, law- 
yers, physicians, officials, employees of the Polish unions and 
institutions, and some working at lower forms of service. Dur- 
ing the war years the population greatly increased, as a result of 
the influx of refugees, migration from the villages to the city, 
and the natural increase of population. Mutual interrelations 
had really never been good, especially since 1902-03, the begin- 
ning of the persecution of the Jews for their "revolutionary 
ideas," and the events of October, 1905, when a mob in Uman, 
with the sympathy of the Christian officialdom and clergy, per- 
petrated a Jewish pogrom, in which three Jews fell victims, and 
the property of the Jewish inhabitants was partly plundered. 
The years from 1905 to 1917 were years of "bad peace" and 
ill-concealed antagonism in the Christian population against the 
Jews. The war of 1914 redoubled this antagonism, and the 
Jewish population felt that in the completion of the war and in 
the demobilization great misfortunes would appear for it. The 
revolution of 1917 at first tended to better relations, but later 
the general aggravation of the economic situation, the struggle 


for power, the international conflict, the separation of Ukraine 
from Russia, etc., gradually made worse and more difficult the 
position of the Jewish population, which invariably suffered se- 
verely, without regard to which elements conquered or met de- 
feat. ' (See Appendix 1.) The transfer of power from the 
Hetman to the Directory had no good effects in Uman. The 
Jewish masses sympathized with the change, but they began to 
observe, in the course of time, a suspicious attitude towards 
themselves, and instances of malevolence, oppression, persecu- 
tion, and at last downright baiting. The authorities explained 
this (if they explained it at all) by saying that among the bolshe- 
viks if not the local ones, then the ones at a distance the ma- 
jority were Jews. The attitude towards the Jews on the part 
of all the authorities in the last days of the Directory was full 
of hate, desire to "avenge," to oppress, etc. (See Appendix 2.) 
The Gaidamaks tormented the Jews on the streets, beat them, 
plundered them with the most complete impunity. There were 
isolated cases of murders in the city and massacres in the sur- 
rounding places (e.g. in Kristinovka, where about five Jews 
were cut down and thrown in the way of a train). One Jew 
the Gaidamaks arrested on the street on some invented pretext, 
and took him to the barracks, where they tortured him to death, 
breaking his arms and legs, and threw him naked into the sewer. 
In general, during the last days, the Jewish population was in 
a constant nightmare of baiting and in fear of an open attack 
and massacre on the part of the Gaidamaks. But through the 
efforts of local men in public life and agents of the Council, 
among whom were many Christians, and by the payment of a 
contribution (out of three millions imposed more than a million 
and a half was paid), they succeeded in averting a pogrom and 

On March 11, by night, under pressure of the approaching 
Soviet guerrilla detachments, the forces of the Directory evacu- 
ated Uman, departing for Kristinovka, the nearest junction- 
station on the railroad. A military organization consisting 
principally of young Jews immediately took upon itself the guard- 
ing of the town. It had organized illegally during the last month 
of the regime of the Directory. On the morning of March 12 
the Soviet guerrilla detachments entered the town, putting an 
end to the nightmare-like situation of the Jewish inhabitants, 
who had been fearing a massacre. However, immediately upon 
the entrance into the city of the guerrilla forces, there began 
pillaging of the population (mostly Jews), in which both the 
prisoners whom the guerrilla forces had released from prison, 

UMAN 319 

and these forces themselves participated. The robberies continued 
for two or three days and then quieted down, with the depart- 
ure of that detachment and its replacement by another more 
disciplined one, parts of which kept guard along with the city 
formation. On March 17 the Soviet detachment and the Soviet 
organs fled from Uman under pressure from the Gaidamaks, 
who had broken through the front and who entered Uman to 
the number of 100. The Jewish population had a terrible panic, 
expecting inevitable ruin (see Appendix 3). However, the Coun- 
cilmen, mostly Ukrainians, succeeded in dissuading the com- 
mander of the Gaidamak detachment, Diachenko, from his in- 
tention. Besides, the situation was saved by the contribution of 
a large number of boots, clothing, and some other valuables. 

On March 22 the Soviet guerrilla detachment, which had taken 
Uman in the first place, again entered the city. Again, and in 
still larger measure, pillaging of the inhabitants was resumed, 
mostly of the Jews, performed by the guerrilla soldiers, among 
whom were many professional thieves, robbers, and other crimi- 
nals well known in Uman, who had got out of prison and 
entered this regiment (the 8th Ukrainian Soviet regiment). 
However, there was no personal violence. Upon this followed a 
period of comparative quiet, when the plundering detachments 
departed and the city remained under the protection of the local 
guards. The lives of the Jewish inhabitants were out of danger 
for a period of a month or a month and a half. The Soviet 
regime imposed upon the city a contribution of fifteen millions 
and a requisition of clothing, and a number of very considerable 
other requisitions, which were mostly not paid. Some of the 
rich and thrifty Jewish inhabitants were arrested, some were set 
at various public works (sweeping the streets, etc.). This time 
marked the beginning of pronounced anti-Soviet agitation, 
carried on by its foes among the Christian population, mostly 
the Ukrainian-Russian officialdom, the clergy and bourgeoisie 
of the suburbs. The chief motives of this agitation were anti- 
Semitic. Thus, for example, among the backward and ignorant 
masses rumors were spread to the effect that all the power be- 
longed to the Jews, that they had closed orthodox churches and 
turned them into stables, that the bolsheviki were almost or quite 
exclusively Jews, that they were robbing the petty bourgeois of 
their property, and a series of provocatory and deceitful reports, 
rumors and inventions. At the same time the city witnessed an 
increase in the cost of living and unemployment, and the gen- 
eral economic crisis grew worse. The actions of the bolsheviki, 
among whom were many narrow and ignorant people, the work 


of the Extraordinary Committee, the confiscations, requisitions, 
and a number of over-harsh measures affecting various depart- 
ments of life, all these disconcerted and angered the ignorant 
mass of the suburban bourgeoisie, which had always been a 
willing instrument in the hands of the local clergy, the official- 
dom, and the military and commercial elements. Such was the 
situation in the city. In the country there was going on an 
organization of an uprising against the Soviet regime, carried 
on by the agents of the Directory and by peasants and country 
intellectuals in general, who, for one reason or another, were 
discontented with the Soviet government. At the same time in 
the ranks of the Uman garrison and the Extraordinary Commit- 
tee's detachment an agitation was carried on by Ukrainian Left 
Social Revolutionaries, using anti-Semitism as their chief motive. 
The heads of this agitation were the Ukrainian Left Social Revo- 
lutionaries Shtogrin and Klimenko. In the middle of April they 
raised an armed revolt of the garrison, arrested the Executive 
Committee, replaced the Jews, forced out the military commis- 
sar of the government (gubernia), a Jew, and the military com- 
mandant, and disarmed a company of (military) instructors 
which was loyal to the Soviet. However, disorganization began 
within their own ranks. A punitive detachment came from Vin- 
nitza and disarmed the entire garrison, and re-established order. 
Shtogrin was arrested, but escaped, and fled with Klimenko into 
the country, where by their agitation they soon set all the 
country districts of the region of Uman against the Soviet 
regime. The principal card of this agitation was invariably the 
argument that the power over the people had been seized by 
"strangers," "newcomers," and more precisely, Jews. The Soviet 
detachments began to go out into the villages to "pacify" them, 
which exasperated the peasants against them still more. Early 
in May one of the punitive Soviet detachment? captured Shtogrin, 
the leader of the rebels, in a fight. He was shot along with 
others at Uman. This infuriated the peasants, since Shtogrin 
and all those who were executed were very well known to all. 
The rebellions became constant in the district, and it began to 
be evident that the weak Soviet detachment would not be able 
to cope with the numerous armed rebels. The local organs of 
government applied to their superiors for help, but the latter 
were not in a position to help with the considerable military 
forces that were needed. Around the tenth of May Grigoriev's 
uprising began, and the rebels of the Uman district immediately 
adhered to it, when they received the well-known anti-Semitic 
manifesto ("Universal") of Grigoriev. At this time the rebel- 

UMAN 321 

lious and anti-Soviet, and likewise anti-Semitic, feelings in the 
villages and the city reached tremendous proportions. (Appen- 
dix 4.) . The local Soviet detachments, few in numbers and 
partly disorganized, proved unable to withstand the attack of 
the rebels, who surrounded Uman in a ring. After some fight- 
ing they abandoned the town, taking with them the Soviet insti- 
tutions and almost all the Soviet workers. The train left on the 
morning of May 12, before the eyes of the rebels who had taken 
their positions there, and who fired on the train as it left from 
a distance of some paces. Immediately upon the departure of 
the train with the Soviet garrison, the rebels rushed into the 
defenseless town from all roads leading to it. (Appendix 5.) 
The principal crowd of them entered from the direction of the 
station about 11 A.M., May 12. The rebels, mostly on horse- 
back, and firing uninterruptedly, rushed to the locations of the 
Soviet military institutions, the Executive Committee, etc., where 
they cut the telephone lines, and seized weapons, if any were 
found. The Jewish population in a panic hid in their houses, 
garrets, and cellars. Many found refuge with acquaintances 
among the Christian intellectuals, thanks to which they escaped 
being robbed, beaten or murdered. As many as twenty or thirty 
cases are known of Christians who concealed Jews and actively 
or passively took their part. There were about five cases in 
which Christians, with danger to themselves, took the part of 
Jews and saved them from ruin or death. Finding no "com- 
munists" in the public institutions where they looked for them, 
the peasants who entered first began to rush into private dwell- 
ings, mainly of Jews, asking for "communists." The most of 
the eyewitnesses declare that in these dwellings where the vil- 
lage peasants a'ppeared they only hunted for arms and "com- 
munists," not pillaging or killing anyone. This was, however, 
only up to four or five o'clock on May 12. By that time the 
local petty bourgeois from the suburbs had had time to arm 
themselves, with arms which had partly been previously hidden, 
partly just procured. They joined the rebels; and also thieves, 
robbers, and murderers, who had taken the opportunity to escape 
from prison and were enjoying freedom. These elements had 
always been anti-Semitic and quite inclined to plunder Jewish 
property. By their participation in the uprising they immediately 
changed the whole aspect of what had happened before their 
interference, that is before 5 o'clock. The Christian officials, 
clergy, former officers, and all the enemies of the Jews were not 
slow in carrying on a violent anti-Semitic agitation amiong the 
peasants, bourgeoisie, and criminals; and under this influence 


the behavior of the crowds which had entered the city, towards 
the Jews, changed sharply for the worse. Nevertheless the gen- 
uine village peasantry spilled less blood than the others, and 
among them there were occasionally found protectors of the 
innocent. Finally, many Jews bought their lives from the peas- 
ants with money. The cutting down and shooting was mostly 
done by gypsies, who had come in with the rebels, by petty 
bourgeois of the city, living in the suburbs, and by criminals; 
also by peasants from the village of Starye Babany, of which 
Shtogrin was a native Shtogrin who had been shot for organ- 
izing military and peasant uprisings against the Soviet regime. 
The usual picture of pillaging and killing was as follows. Sepa- 
rate bands scattered over the city and visited dwellings in 
bunches, searching and inspecting people and documents, looking 
for weapons and communists. Except for the cases in which 
the searches were conducted by rebels with principles, or by 
direction of the rebel authorities, the searches invariably ended 
in open looting and carrying off of the Jews' property and vari- 
ous goods, with beatings and murders. In some cases the havoc 
began with the declaration that they had come to look for "com- 
munists" and weapons ; in others, with the accusation that com- 
munists and others were hidden on the premises. In the majority 
of cases the bandits rushed in, demanding money, and torturing 
and killing before or after getting the money. In some instances 
the bandits, guided by local criminals, went directly to the 
homes (well known to the latter) of rich and well-to-do Jews, 
where without any pretext or with a provocatory pretext they 
plundered and murdered. In many places the bandits "planted" 
weapons, which resulted in the payment to them of large money 
ransoms, or caused the shooting of all who were found in the 
dwelling (see Appendix 6). On the first day the number of 
Jews killed amounted to between 30 and 60 people. In the 
evening the pogrom and the murders quieted down. The Jewish 
men arrested in their homes, numbering close to a hundred, were 
taken away to the quarters of the Extraordinary Committee, 
which the rebels had seized; some to headquarters or to prison. 
On the morning of the next day (the 13th) Proclamation No. 1 
was issued in the city, signed by Klimenko as "Chief in 
Command of the Insurgent Troops of the region of Uman." In 
this it was declared that the Jewish power was overthrown, and 
the insurgents were called upon not to serve "Jewish agents and 
provocators." In the morning the pogrom flared up again 
with renewed force, with arrests of Jewish men, and shooting 
of them with orders and without orders, in solitude in their 


homes, or in groups outside the city. All day long were heard 
the sounds of isolated shots and volleys, killing Jews, and the 
sound of church-bells in the city and the suburbs. On the third 
day of the massacre, under the leadership of the orthodox clergy 
of the city, there took place a procession with banners, in which 
the worshippers passed by bodies of Jews freshly shot or slain 
with the sword. The pogrom and massacre continued all day. 
and a hundred to a hundred and fifty Jews were killed. At 
this time the insurgent government was being formed, with a 
military staff and headquarters, and a series of proclamations 
and appeals to the population were issued. In the second proc- 
lamation it was again stated that "the Jewish power is over- 
thrown." In the evening the pogrom and massacre quieted 
down ; the bodies of the tortured victims remained lying where 
death had overtaken them. All the Jewish inhabitants that could 
do so hid and spent the night in cellars, garrets, barns and pits, 
or in Christian homes, wherever the owner admitted them. The 
pogrom and massacre began again on the morning of May 14, 
and the system of plundering and shooting continued to be 
practised as on the preceding days. On this day another 150 
people or thereabouts were killed. In the evening of the same 
day the massacre stopped and was not again renewed during the 
stay of the rebels in the city. (Appendix 7.) The pogrom also 
stopped as a mass manifestation but numerous individual cases 
of looting continued throughout the entire time of their stay. 
On the third and fourth days Klimenko, ataman of the rebels, 
granted permission to the Jews to bury the dead. At the same 
time, by his orders, the rebels began to drive the Jews to 
collect the corpses of the slain, in the houses and on the streets. 
The bodies were thrown into carts and carried to the Jewish 
cemetery, where they were buried in three great common ditches. 
The Jews were not allowed to dig individual graves; they were 
ordered to lay them away quickly in the common ditches. When 
the herded Jews, among whom were many fathers, mothers, 
wives, brothers, sisters, and children of the dead, were digging 
the graves, weeping, the rebels laughed at them and made fun of 
them in every way, taunted them, would not allow the women 
to cry, and threatened them with their weapons. Groups of 
rebels, passing by the cemetery, and seeing the burial, started 
singing merry songs. However, some Christians, especially 
women, wept at the sight of the enormous pile of corpses. The 
total number of Jews slain amounted to approximately 300 to 
400 people, including men from the age of 18 to 95, and women, 
and children under 18. Special attention is called to the numer- 


ous cases of the killing of entire families, for example, of the 
four members of the Tkachuk family (Zagorodnaya St.) ; two 
sons and son-in-law Ruthauser; father, two sons, and son-in-law 
Dergun; husband and wife Vygodman; father and two sons 
Golikhov; son, nephew, and two grandsons Faitelson, and many 
others. There was the case of the murder of the entire family 
of Nukhim Bogdanis, in which were an old man of 95, his son- 
in-law, daughter, grandson, and great-grandson. There were 
cases of deliberate torture and barbarous maltreatment, as, e.g., 
the cutting off of hands, feet, ears, nose, breasts of women, etc. 
(Appendix 7a.) 

All the bodies were found naked or half naked. On Great 
Fountain Street in the Poliak house there was a case where the 
bandits killed the husband and father of a woman who tried 
to shield them with her own body. She herself was thereby 
wounded in the breast with a bullet. This woman was pregnant 
and on the next day brought forth a child, while on the floor 
of the dwelling lay the bodies of three slain, including her hus- 
band and father. A certain number of cases of violations of 
women were recorded, of which exact information cannot 
be given. A large number of cases are reported where in one 
half of a house, inhabited by Jews, havoc and murder reigned, 
while the inhabitants of the other half, Christians, continued to 
live peacefully, after hanging crosses on their walls and placing 
saints' images in the windows. (Appendix 8.) At the same 
time, in the opinion of most of the victimized Jews, it was 
sometimes enough that a Christian should merely give assurance 
that he knew the Jews in question to be decent and honorable 
people, and the bandits would not harm anyone. A number of 
cases are recorded in which conscientious Christians concealed 
Jews in their homes or interceded for them, and thereby saved 
them from ruin and death. On the Torgovaya Street a Christian 
Fofitzer, saved a whole street by his interference ; while in other 
cases officials and "intellectuals" looked with perfect unconcern 
upon scenes of destruction and murder of Jews living next door 
to them, and made no attempts whatever to intervene or speak 
so much as a word in defense. On the contrary, in some cases 
there were exhibitions of malicious joy, of closing the doors upon 
people entreating protection (Appendix 10) or of direct incite- 
ment against their Jewish neighbors (Appendix 11). Out of a 
number of cases of complete moral depravity it is worth while 
to quote the following, which are completely verified : 

Beyond Krasny Krest, in the fields, five Jews were shot, one of 
whom, an old man with white beard, was not killed at once, but 


lay a long time in acute agony. This attracted the attention of 
the Christian children of the neighborhood, who collected and 
began to stone him to death. Not far from there the bandits 
also shot a certain Jew, who fell dead. They nevertheless picked 
him up and fastened his body to the fence, with cords, and then 
for a long time amused themselves with firing at this human 
target. The bodies of many Jews slain have not even yet been 
brought to light, since many were buried by the bandits in the 
places where they were shot outside the town, in ravines, fields, 
pits, etc. A week after the pogrom, twenty-eight bodies which 
had been insufficiently interred somewhere not far from Uman 
were uncovered; they lay near the road, and dogs began to 
attack them. Some of the bourgeoisie, fearing infection, sta- 
tioned guards there, who drove the dogs away from the Jewish 
corpses with sticks. (Appendix 12.) The massacre was sus- 
pended towards evening on May 14, and the next day the in- 
surgent newspaper printed appeals to the population, say- 
ing that the perpetration of pogroms was inadmissible, 
that it was a disgrace to the cause of freedom, etc. Proc- 
lamations were also printed of the Brotherhood of Cyril and 
Methodius, and likewise orders from Klimenko, threatening to 
shoot those who incited to further pogroms. The agitation 
against pogroms and their inciter, whom the rebel newspaper 
identified as a certain local priest (Nikolsky) and the local 
tsarist officials, was carried on by it very zealously. The same 
newspaper was eager to show that those responsible for the 
pogrom were only the petty bourgeois of the city, the inhabi- 
tants of the suburb Lysaia Gora, and the offscourings of the 
town, but not the insurgent peasants. (Appendix 13.) 

With the end of the massacre and of pillaging en masse, the 
situation of the Jewish population improved only relatively. 
Hounding and persecution of them in very many ways did not 
cease all the time that the rebels were on the ground. The most 
oppressive persecution of all was the refusal of the peasants 
and the town merchants to sell anything whatsoever, and espe- 
cially foodstuffs. Bread immediately rose from three rubles to 
twelve or fifteen rubles per pound. The rebel peasants said 
that they would starve the Jews to death. The suburbanites and 
the bourgeois living near the city kept urging the peasants not 
to sell the Jews anything; they themselves bought the peasants' 
products for a song and sold them at profiteers' prices. They 
also spread rumors that the Jews had poisoned wells, etc., and 
so made the peasants afraid to go to markets and bring their 
products there. The malice against the Jews expressed itself 


in this way, that the breadstuffs which they occasionally bought 
from good peasants were taken away from them, and they were 
at the same time beaten and arrested. Very many such cases 
are recorded. There were cases where people refused to sell 
bread at the markets to Christian women who looked like Jews. 

At the same time some of Klimenko's staff and of the rebels 
were angry at him because he forbade further pogroms and 
massacre of the Jews, and openly accused him of having "sold 
out to the Jews." At the assembly of villages which was called 
by the rebels the control passed into the hands not of the Left 
Social Revolutionaries, to which Klimenko was reckoned, but 
of the partizans of the Directory, such as Doroshenko, Novak 
and others. At the assembly many Ukrainians delivered speeches 
against the pogrom and in defense of the Jews, and the assem- 
bly received and listened to a Jewish delegation which pre- 
sented itself. Under the influence of these speeches, the 
assembly took a stand against the pogrom and in opposition to 
the town bourgeoisie, clergy, and officialdom, which classes were 
represented by the speakers at the assembly as the sole inciters 
to the pogrom. In the opinion of the speakers, the peasantry 
had taken no part whatever in the pogrom and the massacre, 
exception being made of individual cases of provocatory agita- 
tion by town black-hundreders, who had nothing in common with 
the objects of the peasant uprising. Out of the considerable 
number of Jews killed there has not been shown to be a single 
communist. Two communists were killed without trial or order, 
but both of them were Ukrainian Christians Makar David- 
enko and Anani Straigorodsky. At the same time it was 
reliably known that the communist Krasny, an Ukrainian, presi- 
dent of the Uman Executive Committee, who was sick abed, 
was visited several times by the leaders of the uprising (the 
commander in chief Klimenko, the former cantonal commissar 
of the Directory, Novak, and others), who talked with him 
peacefully and protected him from the possibility of attacks on 
his life, in spite of the fact that Krasny had not abandoned his 
communistic views. On the other hand there were cases of 
renegades, cases in which well-known Soviet officials and a 
certain number of private workmen who had gone with the 
Soviet regime went over to the side of the rebels, the Extraor- 
dinary Committee, and the Directory. To do this all that was 
needed was, as they put it in Uman, to "turn the visor"; the 
rebels entered Uman with the visors of their caps turned back- 
ward, wearing them thus as a rebel mark. 

The rebels remained in Uman from May 12 to May 21 inclus- 


ive. In spite of the fact that this regime in its latter days 
promised order, guaranteeing that more violence against the 
Jewish population would not be tolerated, nevertheless the Jews, 
crushed and overwhelmed by what they had experienced, re- 
mained in their homes and did not venture on the streets. All 
orders and demands of the authorities to open the stores and 
take up regular life again had no effect at all, and the city had 
a painful, benumbed aspect. The streets were depopulated ; even 
the Christians did not go abroad. 

The rebel staff organized troops, which it sent partly in the 
direction of the railroad junctions of Vapniarka, Tzvetkovo and 
Kasatin, where the rebels seized a series of stations. The rebel 
newspaper Visti ("News") every day reported victories, includ- 
ing the taking of Kiev, Kharkov, Yekaterinoslav, Poltava, and 
other points in Ukraine. Nevertheless, the warlike frame of 
mind of the rebels in Uman subsided, and many peasants of the 
canton scattered to their homes, taking their arms with them, 
and also removing to the country in their carts goods stolen dur- 
ing the pogrom from Jewish homes and wares stolen from the 
stores. Some of the peasants considered their task completed 
after the three-days' Jewish pogrom, and were unwilling to 
fight beyond the borders of their own canton. A number were 
horrified that so much innocent blood had been shed, which 
even their leaders spoke about after the pogrom, and went 
home because they expected no good results from such actions. 
Uncertainty and alarm seized the rebels, especially in the 
last days, when Soviet detachments took the offensive along all 
the lines of the railroad to recover the points seized by the 
rebels, and began to press on them. The Jewish population 
again lived through days of panic, fearing that the rebels, com- 
pelled to abandon Uman, would signalize their departure by 
repeating the bloody occurrences which had taken place. 

Along with this, the sad reminiscences of the Jewish inhabi- 
tants were refreshed by the news-reports which daily reached 
them of the pogroms and massacres of the Jewish populations of 
the villages and towns of the whole canton of Uman. In truth, 
simultaneously with the massacre and pogrom in Uman, the 
pogroms were occurring throughout the region. Everywhere 
where Jews lived they were plundered and killed; and the per- 
centage of Jews killed and ruined in the villages -and towns was 
invariably higher than the percentage of Jewish victims in the 
city. The picture of the pogroms and massacres was of the 
same sort almost everywhere: looting, beating, killing on an 
enormous scale, violation of women, etc. So it happened in the 


villages of Ladyzhenka, Dubovo, Ivanka, Buk, Talnoie, and 
everywhere where any Jews lived. The principal part in the 
pogroms and massacres was played by rebel bands which roamed 
about the canton. However, in many places, along with peas- 
ants of other villages, a part was played in the pogroms and 
massacres by peasants living in the same villages, often 
neighbors who had known them for decades and observed the 
life of these industrious Jews, almost every one of whom had 
always lived in poverty and want. The Jews who remained 
alive fled from their settled habitations wherever their feet car- 
ried them, over roads blocked by rebels, whereby many perished 
on the way, and their bodies are not yet recovered. Some fled 
to Uman, where they sought refuge among the poor folk of 
the city, in synagogues, under the open sky, etc. In many vil- 
lages and towns the pogroms and massacres were repeated 
more than once, each time the rebels passed through. 

On the evening of May 21 artillery fire was heard from the 
direction of the line of the railroad, and bombs began to fall 
not far from the city. As was afterwards learned, this firing 
came from the guns of the armored train of the Soviet detach- 
ment which was attacking Uman. All night long the battle con- 
tinued between the Soviet detachment and the rebels in the region 
near Uman. It ended with the defeat, surrender and flight of 
the rebels. On the morning of May 22 the Soviet detachment, 
consisting principally of the 7th Soviet Infantry, entered Uman. 
With it the members of the Executive Committee returned to 
town, and the majority of the Soviet workmen. The guns of 
the armored train fired on some of the nearby environs of 
Uman, where it was suspected t>iat bands of rebels were col- 
lecting. The Soviet transport automobiles, loaded with Red 
soldiers, went around town, establishing order and quieting the 
frightened population, which was afraid to go out of the 

However, with the arrival of the Soviet troops in Uman the 
disorganized life of the city was not restored. Even on the first 
day of their arrival several cases were recorded in which 
armed men broke into private houses and apartments, mostly 
of Jews, and stole property. However, measures were taken 
against this at once, which reduced the number of cases of loot- 
ing in the succeeding days. But after several days the 7th Soviet 
regiment was called away from Uman and in its place the 8th 
Soviet Ukrainian regiment arrived, which had been in Uman 
twice before, in the month of March. Immediately, from 
the very first day of this regiment's arrival, endless pillag- 


ing of the population began in the city, carried on en masse, 
mainly among the Jews. In some places and on some days it 
assumed the character of an outright pogrom. Armed men 
with red ribbons, and red scarfs and belts, mounted on horses 
decked in red ribbons, with whips, revolvers, sabres, rifles, and 
in many instances even with machine guns, rushed into homes, 
and, starting with or without a pretext, sacked and robbed 
the whole of the property, demanding money and taking 
away all valuables. (Appendix 14.) The whole population of 
the city declares that among the looters were professional thieves 
and criminals, who had mostly served sentences in prison, in 
chain-gangs, and at hard labor, and who enrolled in the 8th 
Soviet regiment as volunteers. The robbery and plunder of the 
people's property, accompanied in many cases by beatings, mal- 
treatment, and even torture, and in four or five cases by murder, 
did not stop up to the last day of the presence of the 8th regi- 
ment in Uman, July 3. (Appendix 15.) In the course of more 
than six weeks the entire population of Uman, especially the 
Jewish, was in the power of organized and well-armed detach- 
ments of bandits and pogromists, with whom the higher military 
authorities could not cope. Many homes of both Jewish and 
Christian inhabitants were plundered several times, and literally 
everything that was in them was taken out, including pillows, 
bed-covers, and even dirty linen. No protection, with very in- 
significant exceptions, was afforded the inhabitants by anyone. 
There were, to be sure, some ten cases of shooting of bandits, 
but they were mostly bandits of the second order of dangerous- 
ness, not belonging to the membership of the 8th regiment. The 
chief organizers of pogroms remained quite unpunished, though 
very well known to the higher powers, who were powerless to 
take any measures against them through fear of arousing oppo- 
sition and resentment among the large armed groups of their 
fellows. Moreover the frame of mind of very many of the 
soldiers of the 8th regiment was distinctly anti-Semitic, and 
cases of furnishing protection to Jews aroused in them resent- 
ment and anger at both the protectors and the protected. (Ap- 
pendix 17.) Therefore the struggle with banditry, in so far as 
it was carried on at all, was limited to the repeated issuance of 
printed orders in which bandits were threatened with shooting 
on the spot, and to occasional repressive measures against ban- 
dits of minor importance. Evidently conscious of their security 
from punishment, the bandits performed tens and hundreds of 
acts of violence, which, in their way, surpassed the horrors of 
the pogrom. Thus, for instance, cases are recorded in which 


the bandits, in broad daylight, on the street, in the presence of 
many armed men, stripped private persons naked, both men and 
women, violating the latter almost on the street, in the sight of 
passers-by, who were powerless to do anything. (Appendix 16.) 
Beatings, lootings, drunken scandals, maltreatments, and shoot- 
ings became the most ordinary events, at which no one even 
lodged complaints. Armed men, decorated with huge red scarfs 
and ribbons, would stop the Jews who at rare intervals went 
through the streets, with the question, "Are you a Jew?" and 
when convinced of the fact either from the reply or from their 
own impressions, would beat them half to death with whips. 
Hostility to Jews and anti-Semitism was the most marked char- 
acteristic of the majority of the armed men in red scarfs and rib- 
bons. They constantly threatened to "cut the throats of all the 
Jews" and became enraged at contact with anyone who had any 
dealings with Jews. Thus cases are on record of armed men 
in red ribbons who refused to buy seeds of poor Christian 
women whom they suspected of being Jewesses, and who re- 
fused to give alms to a beggar-boy suspected of being a Jew. 
At the same time a rather large number of Jewish volunteers 
was in the 8th regiment, part of whom consisted of local 
criminals, Jewish thieves, who, if they did not themselves 
plunder, directed attention to the rich booty of the dwellings 
of the well-to-do inhabitants of Uman, which they knew very 
well. (Appendix 18.) The above-mentioned facts indicate that 
all commercial and productive life, and any other life in the 
city, was completely paralyzed in the town and the canton. 
Foodstuffs rose in price incredibly, because the peasants did not 
bring any in, since they risked violence from two directions 
on the part of the rebels in the country, and on the part of the 
bandits who robbed the peasants in the city. 

The stores and workshops, in spite of all orders, remained 
closed for two months, and the streets even by day were pain- 
fully vacant. By 5 P.M. only armed men were visible on the 
streets, mostly drunk, riding over the sidewalks, making the 
air resound with drunken songs, obscenities, and shots in the 
air. All this took place, for that matter, all day long. 

The Jewish population of the city, beggared and deprived of 
the little property that remained after the pogrom of the rebels, 
frequently left without breadwinners (killed in- the pogrom) and 
without any means of subsistence, terrorized by the anti-Semitic- 
ally-inclined gangs in red ribbons, on the one hand, and the 
unceasing danger of a new attack of the rebels on the other, 
lived through indescribably fearful days of nightmare. In the 

UMAN 331 

eyes of many life became something of no great importance. 
They longed only for any sort of relief from the bandits who 
tormented them whether rebels, unionists, or any others. The 
passionate longing for relief produced a number of fantastic, 
imaginary facts, such as a treaty between the Entente and 
Germany regarding the protection of the remaining Jews in 
Ukraine, and also the report that some sort of Jewish- American 
detachment was moving to the aid of the perishing Jews of 
Ukraine, and was to arrive in Uman on a definitely named date. 
The awful longing for relief from this insufferable position, at 
any price whatever, became universal. But relief, in the shape 
of the arrival of another Soviet detachment, did not come until 
the first days of July, in spite of repeated entreaties and cate- 
gorical demands from the representatives of the Uman govern- 
ment, presented by letter and verbally by delegates to Kiev. 
The change could not take place on account of the critical situ- 
ation on the front both within and without Ukraine, and also 
because, for the war against the rebels of Uman, the military 
authorities had deliberately reserved the 8th regiment, which 
was considered a strong fighting unit. And it is indeed true 
that in defending the city from the rebels, who all this time 
kept forming groups in the canton and repeatedly tried to take 
Uman again, the 8th regiment showed itself a fighting force 
dangerous to the rebels. In several fights it completely destroyed 
the detachments of the atamans Tiutiunik, Popov, and Klimenko, 
and seized all their arms and articles of outfit and equipment. 
A second occupation of Uman by the rebels, which might have 
been possible under other circumstances, and might have been 
accompanied by a repetition of the first pogrom, was excluded 
by the presence of the 8th regiment. 

In the first days of July there arrived in Uman the first 
Ukrainian Soviet regiment, a cavalry regiment under the com- 
mand of Gribenko, which remained in Uman five days. Two 
days after the arrival of the first regiment, the 8th regiment 
left Uman for Nikolaiev. Immediately the looting and violence 
ceased almost completely. As regards the attitude of the first 
cavalry regiment to the Jewish population, it is proper to say 
that while it was in general very much better than that of the 
8th regiment, it was also in some instances malevolent. Thus, 
for instance, on Stolypinskaya, Zagorodnaya, and other neigh- 
boring streets, which adjoined the soldiers' quarters, armed men 
on horseback would plunder the apartments and beat up passers- 
by, declaring at the same time that they were against "Jews 
and communists." According to the testimony of Talabaniuk, 


a member of the Executive Committee who was sent as organ- 
izer and agitator to the villages of Verkhniachka and Dobrov, a 
detachment of cavalrymen of the first regiment rode into those 
villages for some reason or other and committed a number of 
disorderly acts against the peasants, demanding, among other 
things, that they surrender "Jews and communists." In one of 
the villages they almost killed a Jewish girl because in their 
opinion she "upset the men" by her beauty. In general, how- 
ever, the first cavalry regiment, consisting as it did mainly of 
Ukrainian guerrilla fighters, and though undoubtedly inclined, 
like the 8th Soviet regiment, to be very hostile to the Jewish 
population, showed itself in no way especially aggressive during 
the time of its short stay in Uman, except for the series of 
cases noted. 

The regiment departed from Uman for Poltava on July 5. 
It was replaced by the 4th Soviet international regiment, con- 
sisting of Hungarians, Chinese, Germans, Jews, and Great Rus- 
sians. In the person of this regiment the population of Uman 
for the first time beheld a disciplined Soviet military force, 
which neither robbed nor murdered anyone for national or class 
reasons. The whole population of the city seemed to come to 
life after two months of incessant horrors. The stores im- 
mediately opened, people began to appear on the streets, mal- 
treatment because of Jewish extraction was ended, drunken 
riding over the sidewalks and shooting in the air and at people 
was seen no more. The life of the city, which had been para- 
lyzed for two months, began to right itself, finding expression 
in efforts gradually to start some sprouts of commercial, manu- 
factural, and other activities, such as were permitted by the 
conditions of the times. In any case it is proper to make clear 
that with the arrival of the 4th Soviet international regiment, 
the general position of the Jewish population markedly improved, 
especially in the sense that it was possible to go out into the 
streets without fear and attend to one's work, when there was 
any. Now the Jewish and laboring population of Uman is freed 
from the constant attacks on life, honor, and property, which 
lasted two months; but it needs much effort and aid on a wide 
scale to heal the grievous wounds inflicted upon it in economic 
respects by the pogrom, through the killings of hundreds of 
breadwinners and through incessant pillaging for two months. 

After listening to the report, the assembly unanimously in- 
dorsed what Comrade Proskurovsky had set forth, but after an 
exchange of opinions found it necessary to add the following 
appendices : 

UMAN 333 


1. The first wave of anti-Semitism began to be felt afresh 
during the time of the formation and existence of the First 
Central Rada. Attacks on the Jews were then a constant ele- 
ment in the procedure of the Ukrainian intellectuals, the leaders 
of the whole Ukrainian national movement. This was the con- 
dition also in Uman. Afterwards the local priest Nikolsky 
played a role in arousing and increasing hatred and malice 
against the Jewish population. He had a great influence upon 
the orthodox population, the bourgeoisie of the surroundings, 
and the officialdom of the city. During Kerensky's regime he 
conducted a violent monarchical and anti-Semitic campaign, for 
which he was banished from Uman to Kiev. This circumstance 
very nearly caused a pogrom in the city, since the bourgeoisie 
conceived the design of preventing the priest Nikolsky from 
leaving town by force ; and in a short time he was brought back 
to Uman at the request of the representatives of the Jewish 
population. An undercurrent of resentment and hatred against 
the Jews continued to exist in the Christian population. 

2. The garrison commandant in Uman, under the Directory, 
was a former Austrian prisoner of war and Galician emigre, 
Col. Dobriansky, a bitter Ukrainian nationalist, who never ceased 
to persecute the Jews in every way he could. He appointed a 
separate mobilization for Jews, Poles, and Russians, and the 
Jews were exposed to particularly and unendurably humiliating 
conditions. Later he organized man-hunts of the male popula- 
tion, principally Jewish. When the Council protested against 
such actions, Dobriansky replied with abuse and threats that he 
would settle with the protesters and the Jews both together. 
Approximately similar was the attitude towards the Jews of 
the military commissar, the local Ukrainian Col. Dereschuk, who 
imposed on the city a contribution of three millions, for the 
needs of the Ukrainian army. The collection of this was ac- 
companied by a series of anti-Semitic manifestations on the 
part of Dereschuk and the Ukrainian garrison, inflamed by him, 
with whose anger and punishment he constantly threatened the 
Jewish population. 

3. Two days after the departure of the Soviet forces, on 
March 20, about a hundred Gaidamaks entered the city under 
command of Captain Diachenko, who had distinguished himself 
by leading a massacre of Jews in the" town of Teplik, where 
about three hundred Jews were massacred. When he entered 
Uman, Diachenko declared that he would show no mercy to the 


Jewish population and cynically bragged of his participation in 
the massacre of Teplik. The city escaped from a pogrom and 
possible atrocities by the payment of a contribution in kind- 
shoes, garments, etc., and also money. 

4. The convention of the villages of the Uman district, sum- 
moned by the Executive Committee of Uman, which opened 
at the outbreak of the rebel movement, on March 11, clearly 
reflected these fundamental inclinations, stubbornly and half- 
concealedly refusing to enter into the necessary contact with 
the Soviet authorities. On its part the Executive Committee 
also assumed a no less sharp tone in dealing with the assembly. 
After the attempts of some communist speakers, among them 
some Jews, to incline the assembly to their side, had ended in 
failure, the Executive Committee declared the assembly closed. 
This was considered by the villagers as a challenge and only 
increased the anti-Semitic and anti-Soviet rebellious feelings. 

5. The first wave of the rebels consisted of village peasants 
of very different ages, beginning with striplings and ending with 
bearded old men. Many were armed with scythes, rakes, or sim- 
ply long white staves. The larger part were armed with rifles, 
revolvers of the most varied sorts, swords, sabres, etc. On the 
whole the first movement of the mob into the city gave the im- 
pression of a triumphant movement of village peasants who 
had conquered the city. 

6. In many cases the plundering, beating and killing were 
motivated as revenge for the "pacification" of uprisings by the 
Jews and for the general seizure of power of which they were 
accused. When looting, torturing and shooting, the black-hun- 
dred and pogromist portion of the rebels constantly declared, 
"All that is to make up for Buhl" (the name of the Jewish 
military commissar), or "Fisch" (the commander of a separate 
detachment a Jew), or "Kulik" (a well-known Jewish com- 
munist of local extraction). 

7. The end of the pogrom and massacre upon the expiration 
of the period of three days is explained by many in different 
ways; but there is no doubt that the limit was put upon the 
pogrom and massacre partly under the influence of the requests 
and arguments of various Ukrainian and Jewish delegations, 
which waited upon the leaders of the rebels. 

7a. It should be recorded that the pogromists committed spe- 
cial atrocities when they were drunk when they became absolute 
beasts, and paid no attention to arguments or entreaties or 

8. One case (unique, to be sure) is known in which a Jew 

UMAN 335 

placed a saint's image in the window of his dwelling, having 
borrowed it from a Christian neighbor. The home of this Jew 
was not touched by the rebels, whereas they entered the other 
apartments in the same courtyard and behaved quite as usual. 

9. Of which the following may be noted: I. Vrachinsky, L. 
Zbanovsky, Alexeiev, Khokhol, Slobodianik, Dr. Kramarenko. 

10. Peikhel. 

11. Mention should also be made of the attitude of the Polish 
population to everything that fell to the lot of the Jews during 
these months. Behaving externally correctly and constantly em- 
phasizing their "neutrality," the Poles for the most part refused 
to give the slightest help to the perishing Jewish population. With 
very rare individual exceptions, the Poles did not admit the 
Jews to their homes, hid no one, and, on the contrary, in many 
cases expressed malicious joy at what was taking place. Al- 
though there are no evidences of physical participation in the 
pogrom and massacre on the part of individual Poles, it must 
nevertheless be said that in general the attitude of the Poles to 
the Jewish population during this period was clearly malevolent, 
though this was poorly concealed under a mask of "neutrality." 

12. The corpses of two Jewish brothers were found thrown 
out in some garden or other in one of the environs of the city. 
It is known that they were killed by a petty bourgeois or peas- 
ant, who promised to hide them from the pogromists, but after- 
wards fell on them unawares in their sleep, and robbed and 
murdered both, throwing their bodies into some one else's 

13. At the same time, however, the rebel authorities lost no 
chance to annoy the Jewish population in an organized way. 
Thus, for instance, the Jews were ordered to "surrender their 
weapons" in the course of four hours from the moment of 
publication of the order; and if they failed to obey the order 
they were threatened with popular anger, etc. 

14. Especially characteristic is the proclamation of the garri- 
son commander of the 8th Soviet regiment, Col. Iliesh, to the 
effect that all inhabitants of the city should keep the doors of 
their dwellings open and should not fear the entry of Red sol- 
diers, whereas in the same proclamation he advised the Red 
soldiers not to enter dwellings or visit each other later than 
9 P.M. 

15. Of cases of murder, especially ghastly is the murder of 
the wife of the watchmaker Lirmann in the attack on his dwell- 
ing. When his wife raised a cry for help, she was shot on the 
spot by Red soldiers. 


16. A naked Red soldier, in broad daylight, on Nizhe-Niko- 
laievskaya Street, after bathing in a bath-house, attacked a 55- 
year-old woman who was passing and violated her. 

17. The clear fact of anti-Semitism on the part of the 8th 
Soviet regiment is proved by the complete demobilization of the 
detachment of Urbailis and Piontkovsky, into which many local 
Jewish workmen had entered. Almost the whole detachment, 
together with its commanders, was compelled to flee to Kiev for 
safety. While the 1st cavalry regiment was in Uman, there was 
an attempt on the part of the cavalrymen to disarm by night 
some Jewish soldiers of a Skvira regiment, quartered in Uman. 

18. It is quite comprehensible that under such conditions it 
was wholly out of the question to organize any regular plan of 
punishment of that part of the pogromists which remained as 
before among the inhabitants of the outskirts of the city, or 
to search out the goods they had stolen and hidden and return 
them to the suffering poor folk. Some steps in that direction 
taken during the first days of the return of the Soviet regime 
were soon completely abandoned. Thus many instigators of the 
pogrom and massacre, and direct participants therein, who them- 
selves were prepared for repressive measures, found it possible 
to cover their tracks and hide the stolen property in good shape, 
while remaining entirely unpunished. 

What is set forth in this report and its appendices is con- 
firmed by the signatures: 


III. Testimony of Mania Benievna Zhuravskaia, Student, 
Aged 22 

When the rebels entered the city on May 12, on the first day 
at 5 P.M. they surrounded the Kahan house on Kievskaya St., 
in which our apartment is located. When the first shots re- 
sounded, the frightened inhabitants of the house gathered in our 
apartment, and thus many people came together with us men, 
women, and children. We all hid in the back room. After 
firing on the house they knocked at the door of our apartment. 
We immediately opened the door, and many rebels entered with 
rifles in their hands, the visors of their caps turned back. 

Their first question was: "Are there any bolsheviki here?" 
Then they asked if we had any weapons. When we answered 
both questions in the negative, they let out a volley of market- 
place invective on us, in which the following expressions pre- 
dominated : "It's impossible that Jews should not have weapons, 

UMAN 337 

we know you Jews, we know your Jewish machinations." They 
turned their first attention to a man who lived in our house, 
Berkovetz, an employee of a bank, and began to insist that he 
was a commissar. They took him into a separate room and 
began to beat him unmercifully. They made the same accusa- 
tion against almost every man in our apartment, calling him 
either a commissar or a communist, and adding: "We will 
show you a commune." Then they demanded that all of us 
men, women and children should vacate the apartment and go 
down into the yard. On the way many of us were beaten, no 
distinction being made between men and women, adults and 
children. In the courtyard they ordered us all to stand "against 
the wall," but then changed the order and ordered the women 
and children to go apart, while the men had to remain "against 
the wall." When we, feeling something evil was coming, began 
to entreat them to take from us everything they liked, to take 
our money, the rebels, refusing all our entreaties, gave the com- 
mand: "One, two, three," and fired a volley, killing our rela- 
tives and acquaintances almost before our eyes. The slain in- 
cluded my brother Misha, aged 18 ; Berkovetz, aged 35 ; Litvak, 
aged 68; Handelsmann, aged 60; a physician, aged 52; Handels- 
mann's son, a gymnasium student, aged 17, and an old man of 
70. My father was also made to stand against the wall, but 
was only wounded by a bullet, and escaped to the barn without 
the notice of the rebels, where he spent some time in conceal- 
ment. When the rebels found him there, he succeeded in per- 
suading them to spare him, having convinced them that he was 
not a communist. My brother-in-law Kushnir, my sister's hus- 
band, was also placed against the wall, and escaped accidentally 
only because in the group of the corpses he also was thought to 
be dead. After shooting all the men in our house, the rebels 
commanded all of us women to go to the cellar to sleep, beating 
us with gun-butts the while. As I learned afterwards, this same 
gang went to our neighbors, Russians, and, after finding that 
they were Russians, began to boast of their murders. One of 
them said: "I have avenged to some extent the death of my 
brother Shtogrin; I killed a lot of people in the Kahan house." 
All night long in our apartment upstairs the pillaging of our 
property continued. At eleven at night my father, who we sup- 
posed was killed, came to us. He told us how he had been found 
in the barn, how he had been led through the apartment and 
forced to open up all chests and boxes, and how the plundering 
of the apartment and the destruction of our goods were going 
on. Early in the morning, on May 13, we began to wonder 


how we could get our wounded, my sister and brother-in-law, 
to the hospital. Someone reported it in the city, and thence 
came two Christian workmen from Kushmir's factory, who 
brought hospital people. On the road cries were heard: "We 
won't let Jews be saved!" and with great difficulty we got to 
the hospital, abandoning our apartment to the will of fate. As 
was afterwards discovered, the rebels threw two bombs into 
Vitis's apartment, causing a fire in that apartment. We heard 
that the rebels accused us, the inhabitants of that house, of 
having hidden dynamite there. For two weeks we did not return 
home. Among the wounded who died was Sura Handelsmann, 
wife of Handelsmann who was shot, and whose family was thus 
totally destroyed. 

July 21, 1919. 

IV. Testimony of Joseph Isaakovich Polonsky, Mechanical 
Engineer, Aged 29 

On May 12, when the rebels entered the city, I was in the 
apartment of the dentist Schultz, in Dr. Bravermann's house on 
Sadovaya Street. During the course of the entire day rebels 
kept coming into our apartment on the pretext of looking for 
weapons. Among the searchers it was often noticeable that 
intellectuals participated, such as teachers, etc. Many of them, 
who knew Schultz personally, told the rebels that in this apart- 
ment there certainly were no weapons, and they went away. 
Thus May 12 passed for us without any complications. Towards 
evening we, with Dr. Bravermann, began to consider how we 
should spend the night, in view of the persistent rumors in 
town that during the night of the 12th of May a St. Bartholo- 
mew's eve would be perpetrated. On Dr. Bravermann's sug- 
gestion we decided to spend the night in the garret At mid- 
night I, Dr. Bravermann's family, the family of the dentist 
Schultz, and the family of the shoemaker Schumann, who lived 
in the same house, went up into the garret, taking up after us 
the ladder by which we had climbed up. We spent the night 
quietly. On the next day at 6 A.M., May 13, Dr. Bravermann 
got down from the garret to see what was happening in his 
apartment. He did not return to us again. As was discovered 
afterwards, Dr. Bravermann was shot by rebels who were in 
his apartment, and who evidently had been waiting since the 
night for the owners of the apartment. Half an hour after 
DJT, ravermanj? left us, by the same ladder by which the doctor 

UMAN 339 

had gone down, there came up to us in the garret a number of 
rebels, clothed in soldiers' garments, in caps with the visors 
turned back (a distinguishing mark of the rebels). Two of 
them loaded guns and commanded the women and children to 
go down from the garret, while the men were to stay. We 
men, who were left, namely myself, the shoemaker Schumann, 
the dentist Schultz and his son, a student, Mikhail, decided that 
the shoemaker Schumann and I should go forward and have 
an explanation with the rebels. When we came out of the 
corner and began to say that we would furnish documents, two 
of the rebels pointed the barrels of their guns at us. At this 
time the dentist Schultz and his son cried: "We surrender." 
Then, without warning, came the shots. The shoemaker and 
I were wounded in the legs. I fell covered with blood. Then 
the group of rebels left the garret. I did not lose consciousness, 
and I began to argue with Schultz and his son that they should 
go down from the garret, to avoid a second coming of the 
rebels. They obeyed me and went down. Not until three or 
four hours after we were wounded did there come a rebel officer, 
with several men, to us in the garret, and at his direction the 
shoemaker and I were let down by ropes. Towards evening I 
was carried to the Red Cross Hospital on a stretcher. On the 
way we were often stopped and the sanitaries were asked whom 
they were carrying. They replied, a wounded Pole. Almost at 
the very entrance to the Red Cross Hospital some rebel stopped 
our bearers and in a threatening tone demanded whom the 
sanitaries were carrying; and his finger rested on the trigger 
of his revolver. The sanitaries, realizing that my life depended 
literally on their answer, kept their heads and replied that they 
were carrying a man sick of a dangerous, contagious disease, 
and that if the questioner approached nearer to the stretcher, 
he, too, would catch it. This answer had its effect and the 
rebel went away. As it turned out, I was wounded by a tearing 
bullet. My right leg was amputated. At present I must still 
remain three weeks in the hospital; I am beginning to learn to 
use crutches. The shoemaker Schumann who was also taken to 
the hospital, died there after an operation for amputation of a 


July 20, 1919. 

V. Testimony of Fenia Polischuk, Student, 23 Years 

On May 12, when the rebels entered the city, we were in our 
own apartment in the Kahan house on Kievskaya Street. Through 


a window opening on the street I saw that at about noon 
groups of rebels began to appear on the street, pursuing pas- 
sers-by, principally Jews. One of the rebels, a young fellow, 
catching sight of a young Jewish girl going along the street, ran 
after her, holding an open knife in his hands. Having caught 
up with her, he struck her with the knife in the face, and then 
waited for a good chance to get her in the side. The girl fell. 
What happened to her afterwards I do not know, because I was 
unable to endure the sight and left the window. I saw that the 
composition of the rebels was very different, beginning with 
striplings and ending with gray-bearded peasants. I saw hardly 
any intelligent faces. Until 5 P.M. no one ' came into our 
apartment. But at that time our house was surrounded by 
rebels on all sides and exposed to a furious fire from rifles. 
Not knowing the reason for the shooting, I rushed to the tele- 
phone and asked the commandant for help, to which I received 
the answer : "So long as it is insurgents firing, there is no reason 
for alarm." And the further answer was made: "Bolsheviks 
have settled in your house," and then, "Ring up the commander 
of the eight villages." As was found out afterwards, the firing 
on the house was due to the fact that in one of its wings the 
bolshevist department of dwelling-requisitions had been located. 
Not long after I received these unsatisfactory replies, I and all 
my household heard heart-rending shrieks and groans of both 
men and women from our courtyard. Then we heard some 
street-corner cursing, the sound of blows, and loud and at the 
same time nervous cries of one of the dwellers in our house, an 
employee of the Russian Commercial Products Bank, Ber- 
khovetz, who was afterwards found to have been killed. He 
kept crying: "Take me to the director of the bank, I am a 
Russian, he will tell you that I am no commissar, that I had 
no part . . ." At that moment rang out the command: "One, 
two, three!" mingled with sounds of the song "Little 
Apple." In fact the command itself was spoken to the tune of 
the "Little Apple." A volley resounded, and the cries of people 
were heard. I again rushed to the telephone and began to beg 
for help from the commandant, telling as well as I could all 
we had heard, and all that was going on in our courtyard. The 
commandant replied: "I will come in person." But till 9 P.M. 
no one came. The cries and shots continued all the time. 
Only at 9 P.M. someone knocked at our door. I immediately 
opened and saw the staircase full of rebels. I invited them into 
the room, saying: "Come in, all." But one of them, apparently 
a superior, asked me if we had not rung up the commandant, 


and receiving an affirmative answer, ordered the rebels not to 
come in, but choosing two of them, entered our apartment. I 
remember clearly that the hands of the two soldiers who entered 
with the superior were bloody. They were both far from 
sober. Then they searched the apartment, looking for any 
weapons we might have hidden. After a fruitless search, they 
said to us: "Well, now you can sleep in peace." And the su- 
perior added: "This apartment is mine," and they let no one 
else into our apartment the whole night, whereas people kept 
constantly coming, pillaging and killing in all the other apart- 
ments. When the searchers left they said, indicating the other 
apartments : "There are the bolsheviki, there we have business." 
What this "business" consisted of was made clear the next day, 
when it turned out that seven Jewish men had been shot in 
Zhuravsky's apartment. 


July 21, 1919. 

Pogrom of May 13, 1919 

I. Report of An Assembly of Party Workers and Persons in 
Public Life in the Town of Dubovo, called by the Regional 
Director of the Head Mission of the Russian Society of the 
Red Cross, on the question of the occurrences of the Po- 
grom which took place in the Town of Dubovo. After an 
exchange of opinions the following was established: 

The town of Dubovo is located eighteen versts from Uman. 
Communication with the city is carried on by horses, with the 
help of balagulas (country carriages). The composition of the 
population is as follows: Jews, more than 300 families (some- 
what over 1,000 people) ; Christians, three times this number. 
Most of the peasants are possesed of land. The occupations of 
the peasants, in addition to agriculture, were limited to swine- 
raising, and only in recent times, when the food crisis became 
acute in the city, did the peasants begin to act as "sackers." 
The Jews were divided as to occupational groups between arti- 
sans (ten per cent) and dealers in grain products and pro- 
prietors of peasant-ware supply shops (ninety per cent). 

The mutual relations between the Jewish and Christian inhabi- 
tants had been of the most friendly character. Thus, the year 
1905, which was a year of pogroms in that region, passed for 


the town of Dubovo without any excesses at all. Likewise ex- 
cellent was the attitude of the local intellectuals the town 
priest, the school teachers, the postmaster, etc. The drafts dur- 
ing the years of war also passed off successfully for the town. 
The great change of Feb. 27, 1917, strengthened still more the 
friendly relations between the Jewish and Christian inhabitants. 
The period of the regime of the Central Rada was not distin- 
guished by any incidents which indicated national antagonisms. 
It was only after the overthrow of the Rada by the Germans and 
the establishment of the "hetmanhood," attended by the German 
punitive detachments for extracting grain from the villages, 
that a sort of dull resentment towards the Jews began to be 
observed. The village gossips talked about some kind of 
specially close relations between the Jews and the Germans. 
But even these rumors did not assume an ominous char- 
acter for the Jewish population, because the peasants blamed 
most of all the local Christian mill-renters for the calling in of 
the Germans. The withdrawal of the Germans from the bound- 
aries of Ukraine and the firm establishment of Petlura's regime 
were signalized in the town by the passage of the government 
into the hands of the Ukrainian republican authorities. And 
although during this period certain occurrences of an anti- 
Semitic character were observed, in the way of accusations 
that the Jews had indirectly participated in the Hetman's punitive 
expeditions, they were not of a sharp and definite character. 

The peasants of the neighborhood mostly entered the ranks 
of Petlura's army. The withdrawal of the Petlurists and the 
beginning of the bolshevist power expressed itself in the forma- 
tion of a committee in the town. At the start of this regime, 
a "Kombed" (Committee of the Poor) was formed; after- 
wards, with the participation of the sailor Zarachinsky (an 
old acquaintance to the town of Dubovo, who, during the Het- 
man's regime, had been hiding in Odessa), steps were taken to 
organize an Executive Committee. Five Jews entered this Com- 
mittee, one a workman, four proprietors in the town. The tasks 
of the Executive Committee at first were centered on the or- 
ganization of a Tribunal. At the same time a convention of Red 
soldiers, workmen, and village delegates was called by the Execu- 
tive Committee for the 10th of May in the city of Uman. The 
Executive Committee of Dubovo was dissolved on this same 
day, May 10. One of the delegates to Uman returned to Du- 
bovo on May 11 and reported the closing of the convention. 
The atmosphere began to become decidedly tense. 

Against the background of the life of Dubovo and the sue- 


ceeding x events there began to stand out sharply a modest figure, 
not noticed up to that time a young man of twenty-two, Mar- 
kel Okhrimovich Brishka, a teacher of elementary branches, 
who had entry into many Jewish homes in his capacity as 
teacher. In his convictions Brishka was a violent advocate 
of Ukrainian independence. Having been a prisoner in Aus- 
tria, he brought back from captivity and cherished his 
Ukrainian chauvinistic sympathies. Whenever and wher- 
ever he could he talked about Ukrainian independence, but 
under the bolsheviki limited himself to the modest role of 
arranging Ukrainian pageants. Among the Jews he had 
acquaintances and some friends. Learning that after the 
closing of the convention events of some sort were pending, 
he went to Uman on Monday, May 12, and on the morning of 
May 13 returned to Dubovo. From this day really begins the 
unhappy time for the Jewish population of the town. Upon his 
return from Uman Brishka called a meeting of the Executive 
Committee of Dubovo, invited all the Jewish members of the 
Committee to leave their places, and locked himself up with 
the president and vice-president of the Committee (Christians), 
with whom he had a long secret conversation. In personal con- 
versation with a member of the Committee with whom he was 
acquainted, Moisei Schwarzmann, Brishka stated that he had 
returned from Uman with instructions that the Jews should be 
removed from power. At the same time he communicated some 
rumors of the most provocatory character, to the effect that the 
Commissar of Education, in fixing the duties in the educational 
department, positively demanded a knowledge of the Jewish lan- 
guage, even of Christians, without which no positions could be 
secured. Then he summoned the members of the Executive 
Committee and announced to them that henceforth the Commit- 
tee's title was changed to the Village Rada (Council). Brishka 
also proposed that a man be sent to Uman for proof of his 
authority. Meanwhile during the whole day, May 13, cartridges 
were constantly being brought from Uman to Dubovo; and to- 
wards evening events took a really threatening turn. The popu- 
lation of the town, frightened by the sound of the first shots, hid 
in cellars, garrets, and other hiding-places. The rebel peasants 
of the surrounding villages of Korzhevoie, Oksanina, etc., armed 
with rifles, clubs, and some with axes, scattered over the place 
visiting the Jewish dwellings. In that fearful night no one was 
spared. Money-ransom did not help. Th'e criminal element of 
the rebels was especially rampant, the former convicts; Kiril 
Cherniuk, a peasant of the village of Korzhevoie, Martin Zba- 


zhevsky, a dangerous burglar, and Vasily Bobyl, a pea'sant of the 
village of Korzhevoie. These persons, with only axes in their 
hands, made way with the victims. In this night eleven persons 
were killed, among them two women and several children. 

In all the houses the rebels looked for "communists" 
and demanded money. On the morning of May 14 the peasants 
of the village of Korzhevoie began to disperse to their homes, 
and happening to come upon some of the inhabitants of the town 
on the way, started pursuing and killing them. Seventeen fell 
dead in the fields, which with those previously killed makes 28 
persons. Six of the wounded died. Thus the number of victims 
of the first "May" uprising was exactly 34 persons. On the 
same day, May 14, local Jewish inhabitants asked Brishka to call 
an assembly and explain to the rebels that they ought not to kill. 
Brishka consented, saying that he himself had not gone 
out killing, that it had happened "of itself." Meanwhile, 
however, the above-mentioned bandits, Kiril Cherniuk, Zbazhev- 
sky, and Bobyl, kept becoming more and more insolent. They 
refused to obey Brishka and demanded on their own account a 
contribution of 10,000 rubles from the population. An especially 
tragic impression is made by Cherniuk's murder of a girl Sonia, 
whom he cut in pieces with an ax. Brishka, moved on the one 
hand by the entreaties of the population, and on the other hand 
disheartened by the disobedience of the bandits, declared that 
he would make way with them. And in fact he postponed mar- 
ket-day, which was to take place on May 16, and made every 
effort to apprehend the bandits. Cherniuk and Zbazhevsky were 
caught by him and shot in the center of the town. This punish- 
ment stopped the spreading terrors. After this, comparative 
quiet reigned. Brishka declared himself commander of the 
detachment. The power remained in -his hands for about two 
weeks. Then on May 31 the power of the rebels in Uman 
passed over to the bolsheviki. Ataman Klimenko, forced out 
of Uman, approached the town of Dubovo with his detachment 
on May 31. On this day the detachment of Shevchenko, Kli- 
menko's subordinate, occupied the village of Korzhevoie. It 
numbered a hundred men, well armed, with one cannon. On 
June 1 Klimenko with ten or fifteen rebels entered the town. 
The rebels scattered to the houses of Jews and under pretext 
of searching for arms forced payments of money. Klimenko 
himself summoned a delegation of Jews, consisting of five men. 
According to what the delegate Schwarzmann reports, Klimenko 
declared: "I am a bolshevik, but I am against a commune. All 
looters will be shot by me." The conversation took place in 


the presence of many peasants. Many of them expressed them- 
selves as having nothing against the Jews. Klimenko produced 
a very good impression on the delegation by his appearance. 
Thus, especially significant were his words: "The Jews are at 
one with us; there must be no killing." While Klimenko was 
himself expressing these "liberal" ideas, his detachment, though 
small in numbers, continued to cause considerable devastation 
in the dwellings, looting many of them. On the evening of the 
same day, June 1, Klimenko departed with his detachment to 
the village of Babanka, eight versts from Dubovo. Two days 
later, on the 3rd, a telephone message from Klimenko, in Bab- 
anka, came to the local committee to the effect that a detach- 
ment was marching on Dubovo and that it was necessary to 
meet it and offer resistance. The meeting replied that they 
nad not the strength to do so. And in fact towards evening 
there arrived a scouting party of a new champion, of an unhappy 
sort for Dubovo, a certain Koziakov. As described by those 
who saw him, Koziakov was a man of about 30, of intelligent 
appearance, wearing sometimes velvet and sometimes a sailor's 
costume, with a red star. According to some reports he came 
from Odessa with a detachment split off from Grigoriev. He 
spoke only Russian. According to testimony he was born in 
the village of Mankovka. Koziakov's detachment was decorated 
with red ribbons. Koziakov also summoned to himself a dele- 
gation of Jews. His appearance produced a terrible panic in 
the population. Since his summons of a delegation was extremely 
insistent, a delegation was constituted with great difficulty, 
of two men Schwarzmann and Deichmann. Before the dele- 
gation stood the detachment of a hundred men, wearing sailor 
caps, with red ribbons around them. The detachment had a 
machine gun. Some of them were mounted. Koziakov pre- 
sented a demand for a contribution of 25,000 rubles, a pood and 
a half of sturgeon, and oats tor the horses. The contribution 
was gathered by the above-named delegation and paid in full. 
Not devoid of interest is the following characteristic incident, 
which occurred when the money was paid. One of the dele- 
gates before paying the money wanted to bargain a little and 
perhaps get a little back. Koziakov was furious and in reply 
presented an ultimatum, that the Jews should leave town in the 
course of an hour. After that the delegates succeeded only 
with great difficulty in inducing Koziakov to accept the levy. 
He counted the money carefully, and when it was found that 
there were 24.550 rubles, he demanded that the remaining 450 
rubles should be furnished without fail. When the contribution 


was forthcoming, the detachment was ordered "not to touch the 
people." The people, however, were informed in a proclama- 
tion that Dubovo was under martial law. The proclamation was 
signed by Koziakov, the commander of the detachment. It is 
worth noting that on the black bands of the Koziakov detach- 
ment were stamped in gold the words: "Peace to huts, war to 
palaces." On the morning of June 4 Koziakov's detachment left 
Dubovo. Some time later there resounded from the direction 
of Babanka, Klimenko's headquarters, an artillery bombardment 
of the town of Dubovo, with the object of catching Koziakov's 
gang. Brishka appeared unexpectedly, and succeeded in dis- 
arming the Koziakovists. Koziakov himself was taken prisoner, 
but, as we shall see later, succeeded in escaping from captivity 
and continued to organize bands. 

Some days later a bold attack was made on Dubovo by the 
former Hetman's spy Bezhelitzsky, who collected 15,000 rubles 
from several people. After Bezhelitzsky's departure Koziakov 
unexpectedly appeared again, but was opposed by Brishka. 
Finally Koziakov went away. On June 7th the town of Dubovo 
was exposed to a half-farcical attack of an alleged 4th Soviet 
regiment. The farcical character is inferable from the fact that 
the detachment brought Brishka with it, claiming to have dis- 
armed him. A contribution of 20,000 rubles, said by the com- 
mander to be for the purpose of "fighting the bandits," was 
demanded of the population. In provocatory style, only 
"Jew-communists" were called upon to pay. In the end a con- 
tribution of 8,000 rubles was taken (the original written receipt 
for this money is herewith attached), and Brishka, fully armed, 
rode away with the detachment. It was only too clear that the 
trick was Brishka's work. 

Until June 17 comparative quiet ensued. But fate was pre- 
paring a most cruel blow, though short in duration, for the 
already sufficiently tormented, nerve-racked, worn-out Jewish 
population ; a blow from the united bands of the experienced 
masters of pogroms, Koziakov, Smirnov, Shevchenko, and 
Popov. The visitation lasted only two hours, but two hours 
of torment and affliction which made all the previous experi- 
ences of Dubovo's inhabitants seem pale. Yet if anyone had 
stood at the gates of the town during this time, it would have 
seemed to him that the town was enjoying a marvelous peace. 
Secretly, quietly, and at the same time expeditiously, the young 
braves of Popov did their work. They cut to pieces five human 
bodies exclusively with sabres. A stern sentence was imposed 
upon the one soldier who fired a gun. Secretly, quietly, and 


inaudibly those unspeakable crimes were performed in the cellar 
floor of the local Jew Feldman's house. 

The detachment of Koziakov and Popov consisted of a cav- 
alry squadron of a hundred men and 400 infantry. It had 
machine guns and nearly 200 empty wagons, destined for 
carrying off Jewish goods and chattels. And we must 
do justice to these choice heroes of Popov; they cleaned 
up the 'houses completely. They kept to the regulations 
laid upon them, not to kill women, and to kill men at 
the word of command. They killed old-men "commu- 
nists," standing with one foot in the grave, and fresh youths, 
almost children. At the doors of the cellar-floor of the house 
of D. Feldman, which they called headquarters, stood two exe- 
cutioners, a Moldavian and a Russian, with sabres in their hands, 
right at the entrance. When a victim (a Jewish "communist") 
was brought up, he was stood with his face to the entrance and 
invited to go down to the lower story. But hardly had the 
victim set foot on the first step when the executioners stand- 
ing behind set their arms in motion, and the curved sabres, 
stained purple with the blood of preceding victims, mutilated the 
living body, and not infrequently cut the head off entirely. 
The victim then fell below to the ground, covered with blood, 
on top of the bloody human bodies strewn all around and the 
fragments of dismembered bodies. 

In the two hours of the massacre fifteen people were killed, 
an uncounted number mutilated, and eight seriously wounded. 
At 2 P.M. a trumpet sounded to call the troops together, and 
with songs the detachments of Popov and Koziakov, accompanied 
by peasants from the village of Nebelievka, by the detachment of 
Podvysoky, consisting of Moldavians, and by many persons of 
intellectual appearance, left the town, leaving new widows and 
orphans, having performed new exploits of torture upon the 
innocent, and having violated many, many Jewish girls. June 
17 is the last terrible pogrom in the review of occurrences down 
to July 9, 1919. 

The facts set forth in this report are confirmed by the sig- 
natures : 


II. Testimony of Haskell Duvidovich Filverk, Aged 33, Dealer 
in Manufactures 

On June 17, when Popov's gang entered our town, my brother- 
in-law and I were at home. Through the window we saw that 
two soldiers were approaching us. My brother-in-law ran to 


lock the door, while I jumped out of the window to flee across 
the yard. I had time to see that one soldier rushed into the 
room. When I crawled through the window the other soldier 
very soon caught me. He had a knife in one hand and a bare 
sabre in the other. He began to curse, and then added : "There, 
you communists, there, Buhl, there, Kulik!" As he said this he 
kept striking me blows with the knife. He demanded that I go 
to the "field headquarters," and took me there. The head- 
quarters was located in Feldman's house. Many soldiers were 
standing there. When I was brought in I saw no other 
Jews. The soldiers when they saw me began to beat me. At 
this time a gentleman dressed as an officer arrived; he was of 
middle stature, well built, red-cheeked, apparently 35 or 3<J 
years of age. He began to give orders and commands. All 
commands he gave in the Russian language. As far as I could 
make out from what the soldiers said, this officer was Popov 
himself. In my presence he named two soldiers as executioners. 
One of these soldiers was a Moldavian, the other a Russian. 
In my presence, too, he explained to the soldiers: "Don't touch 
women, but cut down men." And he explained how they were 
to cut them down at the word of command : "One raise sabres ; 
two lean over; three strike." Then I was led into the cellar. 
When I went down with the executioners, I saw the first three 
bodies, which lay there. As was afterwards discovered, they 
were inhabitants of our town Getzel Partigul, aged 70; 
Shaia Deigman, aged 35, and his son, aged 16. Near Getzel 
Partigul lay his hand, which had been cut off. The executioners 
picked up the hand and showed it to me, saying: "You see?" 
When I saw, and when I heard the command, I realized that a 
like fate was in store for me. I began to beg the executioners 
to shoot me, to which I received the reply: "Bullets are expen- 
sive." Then they ordered me to stand with face to the cellar, 
and at the word of command struck me on the head with a 
sabre. I lost consciousness and fell down below. I do not 
remember how I was carried out from the cellar. Now I am 
in the Jewish hospital at Uman. 

July 10, 1919. 

III. Testimony of Hai-Sura Israelevna Rabinovich, Aged 40, 
Wife of a Smith, Illiterate 

By a strange chance, our house for a long time did not 
attract the attention of the robber bands which raged and con- 


stantly kept killing and looting in our town. I went through 
almost a month of seclusion at home, with tightly closed shut- 
ters, listening sharply for every sound. After June 10 com- 
parative quiet began to reign in the town. On June 17 two 
soldiers came into my house, who looked over my rooms and 
said that I should not go out anywhere but stay quietly at home. 
With these words they left. After some time, at about 12 
noon, two other soldiers came, and two empty carts followed 
them. They at once began to make themselves at home. They 
began to gather in everything they saw, whether it was locked 
up or not All the things were loaded quietly and in a business- 
like way on the carts which had come with them. Thus were 
stolen, among other things, all my table service, knives and forks, 
pillow-covers, even my old and half-worn-out market-basket. 
The earrings were taken out of my girl's ears, the rings torn 
off my fingers. When there was no longer anything left to 
steal in the room, the soldiers demanded matches and candles 
of me. Lighting candles, they went with me to the garret. All 
the things that I had hidden there they also took. I cannot omit 
to mention the following. There was in my house along with 
the soldiers, and afterwards many people in town saw her, a 
young woman, who spoke Jewish fluently. She kept talking in 
Jewish with me all the time they were searching in the garret, 
telling me not to be afraid, that they would not kill me. The 
soldiers obeyed her without question and did as she told them. 
In the garret she also said to me in Jewish: "You had better 
give them everything, or else what happened to me will happen 
to you, too. I was taken away by force." Whether she spoke 
the truth, whether she really was a Jewess, or some servant-girl 
who had learned Jewish from serving in Jewish families, I do 
not know. I have nothing more to add. 

July 9, 1919. 

IV. Testimony of losel Ekhil Solodovnik, Aged 50, Proprietor 
of a Drugstore, Literate 

When the detachment of Popov and Koziakov came into our 
town on June 17, at 12 noon, one of the detachments entered 
my store and demanded the surrender of various goods, eau 
de cologne and other things. Another one joined him, and a boy 
of about 14 from the detachment. When I handed over the 
wares, they began to demand money. When I satisfied them 
with that also, they demanded that I, my son Ikhil, aged 30, 


my son Gershel, aged 22, and my wife should go with them to 
headquarters. In spite of all my entreaties, and my offers of 
money, we were taken off towards the headquarters. A violent 
rainstorm came up, and at the suggestion of our convoy we 
went back to my store. Then new pressure began and demands 
for money, and finally one of them, pointing with his finger at 
my elder son Ikhil-Idel, declared: 'I will kill that communist." 
Anticipating disaster, I cried: "Kill me!" to which I received 
the answer: "First I will kill him, and then you." And I had 
no chance to think before he struck my son a blow on the head 
with his bare sabre. 


Pogrom of July 29, 1919 
From the (newspaper) "Kom. Fon." No. 56, of August 6 

On Sunday, July 27, it became known that a part of the 
Petlurist regular army, under the command of Pavlovsky, had 
united with the bandits of Volyntz-Kazakov and Sokolovsky, 
and that both together were advancing on the station Kristi- 
novka. On Monday, July 28, a band under the leadership of 
Volyntz began to shell the station. More than four hundred 
bombs fell. However, thanks to the disciplined part of the 
small Soviet force, the attack was stopped. The band retreated 
ten versts from Kristinovka to the station Sevastianovka, cut- 
ting the railroad line Kristinovka-Kasatin. But on the same 
day a part of the band broke into Uman. On Tuesday, July 
29, the band encircled the city. In the city there was a small 
group of poorly armed and hastily mobilized local workmen, 
who tried to stop the attack of the bandits, but without suc- 
cess. The command lost its head and by its actions increased 
the panic of the population. The group was compelled to 
leave the city and retreat to Kristinovka because a band of 
thirty Gaidamaks under the command of Sokolovsky and Koza- 
kov burst into the city and immediately started massacring 
Jews. A delegation from the former Council went to 
the Ataman Sokolovsky and asked him to stop the massacre. 
Sokolovsky announced to the delegation that they had de- 
clared a red terror against all Jews, and that they must put 
it into execution. The band was joined by all sorts of 
scum from the suburbs of the city, and a most frightful bac- 
chanalia began. They went from one Jewish house to another. 


stole the last remnants of property, violated women, and slaugh- 
tered men, women and children. Thus they carried on for 
four hours. One hundred and fifty-four people were massacred. 
Soon 80 regular Red soldiers and an armored train arrived 
from Kristinovka and drove out the bandits. On the same 
evening a Revolutionary Committee was organized, which took 
steps for hunting out bandits in the suburbs. Extensive inves- 
tigations were carried out, resulting in the discovery of a large 
group of traitors, among them three Jews, who were in relations 
with the attacking band. It should be noted that the peasants 
of the surrounding villages did not support the bandits. 

(From the Same Correspondence} 

On July 31 Sokolovsky's band arrived at the station of Potoshi, 
on the line Kristinovka-Tzvetkovo, and stopped a passenger 
train, separated the men from the women, shot all Jews and 
Soviet employees, and violated the women. Then some cavalry 
arrived, who tortured the survivors for four hours. They 
took away in carts everything that was on the train. Only on 
the arrival of the Soviet armored train did the execution stop, 
and the band dispersed. 

Pogrom of May 13, 1919 

Testimony of the Student Avrum Schwarzmann, Taken Down 
by Maizlish 

Talnoie is a town in the canton of Uman, on the railroad 
line Tzvetkovo-Kristinovka, four versts from Uman. Its in- 
habitants number 15,000; about 8,000 Jews. Early in February 
the withdrawal of the Petlurist forces began to the line Zna- 
menka-Tzvetkovo-Kristinovka. Under the Directory, with the 
permission of the authorities, a Jewish Night Watch, with 15 
or 20 rifles, had been formed. On February 8 an attack oc- 
curred on the Jewish post, which was disarmed, robbed and 
beaten. Two days later four squadrons arrived in Talnoie. 
The soldiers went into the town and 'before the eyes of the 
whole population entered the houses of Jews and carried out all 
the property and took it to the station. After this there were 


incessant attacks and looting. The militia was powerless. 
A company of guards came to keep order, and the Jewish 
population assumed the responsibility of feeding and clothing it. 
But the guard itself took part in the looting. The town suf- 
fered especially from the third Gaidamak cavalry regiment, which 
incessantly terrorized the Jewish population. Owing to the ar- 
rival of the Zvenigorod regiment under the command of Pav- 
lovsky, there were no human lives lost in the town; there were 
only beatings and robberies. 

Early in March the bolsheviki took Zvenigorod, but Talnoie 
at this time still remained in the hands of the Petlurists. The 
situation on the front was shifting for about two weeks. Ap- 
proximately on March 19 Talnoie was taken by the 8th Soviet 
regiment, which also started looting. Two weeks later (after 
another capture by the Petlurists of Teplik) the withdrawal 
of the Soviet forces from Uman and Kristinovka began in 
the direction of Talnoie. On the way many bandits joined the 
Soviet forces, and for three days plundering in Talnoie did not 
cease. A part of the Chigirin regiment was stationed here. At 
the same time the local Revolutionary Committee, in which four 
out of twelve members were Jews, imposed a contribution of 
three million rubles on the local bourgeoisie. Requisitions of 
goods and wares which had escaped the looting were made upon 
the Jewish population. For non-payment of the contribution 
the bourgeois were arrested; of these 90 per cent were Jews. 

After some time the Chigirin detachment disarmed the Revo- 
lutionary Committee and the detachment of the Extraordinary 
Committee, with cries of "Away with the Jewish regime !" Soon 
the weapons were returned to the Russian members of the de- 
tachment and the Revolutionary Committee was re-established, 
but Jews no longer occupied prominent places. 

On May 7th a peasants' assembly was held, at which the local 
officers, dissatisfied with the registration of officers and also 
with the actions of the Revolutionary Committee, with cries of 
"Away with the Soviet regime, away with the Jews, away with 
Trotzky," demanded an explanation of the president of the Revo- 
lutionary Committee concerning the registration that had been 
ordered and concerning the lack of articles of prime necessity. 
On the next day the president of the Extraordinary Committee, 
Gross, appeared with a detachment to give the explanations, and 
the assembly asked him to hand over all weapons to a new 
militia, which was chosen on the spot. Former officers were 
placed at the head of it, who took a number of rifles away 
from the detachment. An irregular firing began. The peasants 


of the assembly dispersed. The ringleaders (Polischuk, Zakhary 
Oleinik, and others) in the same night rode into the surrounding 
villages, collected the peasants by the ringing of bells, and told 
them fabulous inventions of this sort, that the Jews in Talnoie 
were plundering the church, killing Christians, etc., and that 
they had had difficulty in escaping from there. This served as 
the start for a pogrom. On May 13 the rebels began to approach 
Talnoie under the leadership of former officers and thugs of 
Talnoie. The Soviet detachment fled. A proclamation was 
posted that all Jews must hand in their weapons within 24 hours. 
There was another proclamation that all militiamen should re- 
main in their places, except Jews. A former associate of the 
Central Rada, Arseni Melnichenko, was named as commandant of 
the town. No small part in the rebel movement was played by 
the Ukrainian Left Social Revolutionaries, at the head of whom 
was Karpov, inspector of the fourth class of the city schools. 
On May 14 the commandant called an assembly of Jews, at 
which there appeared and spoke a delegate from the Petlurist 
army, a representative of the "Greens," and a representative 
of the local command, Vasili Krivenky. The substance of their 
speeches was that all communists were Jews, that a commune 
was injurious to the peasants, and that the Jews must be ordered 
to give up three machine guns and one mine-thrower. Dr. 
Vilenkis, Volynetz and Schwarzmann answered them, that all 
weapons had long since been collected by the preceding regimes. 
But this did not convince them. A commission of ten Jews 
was chosen to take part in searches of the Jewish population. 
After the searches the Jews were driven out on the "Konnaia 
Torgovitza" (Horse-market Square), and immediately allowed 
to return home. Next day the same thing was repeated ; they 
rounded up the Jews and demanded the surrender of weapons 
and of all communists. A list of communists was presented. 
At the same time the rebels surrounded Jewish dwellings and 
looted and killed. There were 15 people killed, and about 50 

The rebels held out until the month of July. An order for 
mobilization was issued, in which nothing was said of Jews. 
All the stores of grain which the preceding regime had col- 
lected, and all food products, were divided exclusively among 
Christians. An agitation was carried on that the peasants should 
sell nothing to the Jews. A convention of peasants was held, 
at which an Executive Committee was elected. 

In the first half of July a scouting party of Klimenko arrived, 
which killed one Jew and wounded one. At an assembly of 


Jews Klimenko demanded 400 suits of underclothing, several 
score of shoes, 15,000 cigarettes a day, etc. The Jews furnished 
the latter. Eight days later Tiutiunik's detachment arrived in 
Talnoie. There were attempts at looting, but the soldiers of 
Klimenko stopped them, saying: "The Jews have given us so 
much that it is not worth while to kill them." Then the bands 
departed, and a period without a government ensued in Talnoie. 


Pogrom of April 10, 1919 
Testimony of Vera Borisovna Rosenstein 

The town of Emilchino, canton of Novograd-Volynsk, is 15 
versts from the station of Yablontzy, Korosten-Shepetovsky 
branch of the Podolia railroad. Population, four or five thou- 
sand; 2,000 or 2,500 Jews. Before the war a large number of 
German colonists lived in the town itself and round about it; 
at the outbreak of the war they were transported to eastern 
governments. An insignificant number of the colonists returned 
in the year 1918 and settled in their former places. The rela- 
tions between Jews and Christians had long been good, free 
from any tension. The Jewish population, economically very 
backward, in political respects was, especially the younger gen- 
eration, strongly imbued with Zionistic and Hebraistic spirit. 
The Christian population was rather well-to-do, and lived always 
in great friendliness with the Jews. The same attitude, which 
stood out in specially sharp relief at the time of the pogrom, 
was observed also on the part of the local Christian intellectuals 
the priest and the teachers in the local schools. 

On April 9 at 12 midnight there appeared in the town a 
detachment of five or six hundred Petlurist cavalry, going, as 
was afterwards learned, from Olevsk to Novograd-Volynsk. 
First of all they broke up the Jewish "Night Patrol." A Jew- 
ish "patrol" is a regular phenomenon in this part of Ukraine. 
It was first organized after the overthrow of the Hetman, and 
consisted of 30 Jews. The absence of a strong and definite 
government and the appearance ever since then of internal dis- 
sensions caused the Jewish population to see the necessity of 
providing for their own defense, or at least the appearance of 
it. This guard from its very beginning had no weapons, by 
the wish of the Jewish population itself, and remained in this 
condition during the whole period of its existence. Besides this 
Jewish bourgeois patrol, there was an armed guard of ten "hire- 


lings," as they were called in the town, exclusively Russians, and 
also a militia of 15 members. In a moment all the Jewish inhabi- 
tants of the little town learned of the arrival of the detachment 
and became alarmed. In spite of the time of night, they poured 
forth into the streets, and decided to send to the detachment a 
delegation of the most prominent representatives of the Jewish 
population, with the president of the Jewish Community at the 
head (Schneidermann, owner of a ready-made clothing store). 
When the delegation asked who they were, whence they came 
and whither they were going, the commander of the detachment 
answered that he was going with his detachment from Olevsk 
to Novograd-Volynsk, and that they would proceed on their 
way the next day. He also asked that quarters for the night 
and provisions be furnished for his detachment. With this 
reassuring reply the delegation returned to the groups of Jews, 
who were waiting right there in the street, and immediately 
started to collect bread for the detachment. But suddenly, at 
1 A.M., several soldiers of the detachment went past the Jews 
who had not yet dispersed and cried out: "Oh, you Jews, to 
your houses, or we will fire." This threatening warning, and a 
whole series of others which followed it, and which were not 
less threatening, convinced the Jews that all manner of un- 
pleasantness was to be expected from the detachment. They 
at once began to hide, sending the young women to the elemen- 
tary school, under the protection of the teachers, and to the 
local justice of the peace. The rest fled to hide with peasants, 
but some did not succeed in doing this and remained at home. 
In the house where the Rosenstein family rented an apartment 
two of the detachment were quartered, who called themselves 
"commandants." At first it was thought that there was no 
danger, because the "commandants" would not allow the house 
to be touched, and the Rosenstein family therefore decided to 
remain. But suddenly the son of the owner of the house ran 
in to say that the "commandants" staying with them were boast- 
ing of having participated in a Jewish pogrom. There was no 
time to make any decision before shots and cries were suddenly 
heard. Towards morning it was discovered that the soldiers 
were firing in the air, entering houses and demanding money. 
Though they were not natives and knew no one in the town, they 
addressed the Jews marked out to be plundered, calling them 
by name. This finally decided the Rosenstein family to go and 
hide somewhere. So they ran to a neighbor, a German sausage- 
dealer. He took them to the dwelling of a Polish locksmith, 
which was more like a barn than a house and was situated in 


the depths of his own courtyard. Miss Rosenstein herself fled 
to her aunt's, but when towards morning it was learned that 
the soldiers were especially interested in young girls, she fled 
back and joined her sister at the home of the Polish locksmith. 
But it was overcrowded there, and therefore the Pole took her 
over to the dwelling of the German sausage-man. In the morn- 
ing, with a great crowd of peasants from the neighboring vil- 
lages, especially "katzaps" (Ukrainians) from the village of 
Nitia (eight versts from Emilchino), the soldiers began to 
break into stores and together with the peasants to carry out 
everything that was in them. This continued till two o'clock. 
At this time one Jew was killed, the first victim of the 
Emilchino pogrom, Khaikel Brausmann, aged 50, who ran out 
of his home to save his iron-shop. By two o'clock, out of a 
hundred shops, more than half were looted. About this time the 
soldiers began to visit houses, accompanied by groups of peas- 
ants who by this time had been greatly excited by the soldiers' 
propaganda. Peasants of the locality took part in the looting 
only to a very insignificant extent. So it went on all day long. 
Towards night the agitation became especially great. Reports 
were heard from some source or other that the soldiers were 
promising to massacre the whole population at night. The night 
passed, however, all right. Towards morning on April 11 the 
detachment left in the direction of Novograd-Volynsk. The 
Jews thought it was all over and started to return to their 
abandoned homes. But suddenly the detachment appeared again. 
Afterwards it was explained that during the night, after drink- 
ing heavily, the soldiers got to quarreling, and one of their 
number was wounded. The soldiers decided to make use of 
this incident and give it the proper application. And so, when 
they had already gone eight versts and reached the village of 
Sereb, the detachment turned back and burst into the town to 
complete the devastation. The peasants accompanied them on 
this day. The shops that had escaped the day before were opened, 
and to finish them off were set on fire. The soldiers set machine 
guns before the shops and threatened to shoot anyone who 
should go up to put out the fires. Since the burning shops 
were in the neighborhood of the church, and the conflagration 
threatened to reach it, the priest came out to the crowd 
with the cross in his hands and addressed them with the follow- 
ing words: "I do not protect Jews and their property, but you 
have shed enough blood already, and plundered enough, and 
besides, remember that now even the orthodox church may 
suffer." This had its effect, and they did not start any more 


fires, continuing, however, to plunder the houses. Towards 
morning the detachment left the town for good, leaving it 
completely desolate and ruined. In the two days of the pogrom 
11 people were killed, 18 shops burned, more than 300,000 rubles 
in money stolen, and the value of 21 to 23 millions in wares 
and private property (at valuations far from market prices). 

Pogroms: January, March, July 
Testimony of Z. Kh. Verkhovsky 

The town of Cherniakhov is in the canton of Zhitomir, twenty 
versts from Zhitomir. It has five hundred Jewish families. 

On Thursday, January 10, two days before the Zhitomir po- 
grom, a cavalry detachment appeared at night and arrested 
the "patrol." On Friday they, together with the mounted militia, 
would not let people go out of their houses, and arrested them 
on the streets. On the next day, January 11, in the evening, 
shooting began; the peasants of the neighboring villages gath- 
ered ; they plundered all the shops and some dwellings. The 
government of the town disappeared. On Saturday, during the 
day, a telegram was received from Kiev from the Jewish Na- 
tional Secretariat that measures were being adopted against 
disorders, the responsibility for which rested on all the popula- 
tion. They went with this telegram to the government of the 
district (volost). Then a detachment was secretly organized, 
which arranged an ambush and killed the ringleader of the 
looters, Bezdetko, a well-known thief and burglar, going by the 
nickname of "Pup." In this detachment the son of Stefanchuk, 
former commander of militia, who had been killed by this same 
bandit, took part. 

On March 15, when the bolsheviki began to retreat from 
Zhitomir, a rebel movement began in the surrounding 
region, and a Cossack tribe from beyond the rapids arrived at 
Cherniakhov, arrested the bourgeois starosta (head man), and 
the president of the (Jewish) Community, and demanded a 
contribution of five thousand rubles and also a great deal of 
produce. The ataman's assistant, Starozhuk, came to the 
synagogue, where many Jews were huddled together, and de- 
manded that a woman be furnished him. After long and pain- 
ful discussion it was decided to refuse this, and they presented 
him personally with 5,000 rubles. In the evening the tribe did 
some looting and killed one Jewish woman because she would 


not consent to the violation of her daughters. On the next day 
the tribe departed. Many women had been violated. From 
this day until Easter, when the Soviet forces arrived, attacks 
of various bands constantly occurred, from each of which the 
Jewish population always suffered. They got through, how- 
ever, without the loss of lives, for they always "adopted 
measures," that is, gave large sums of money. 

A week before Easter the Chertomitzky regiment arrived, 
which engaged in beating and looting, and exposed the Jews to 
maltreatment, forcing, for instance, whole groups to sing and 
dance. Several days later it appeared again and prepared to 
perpetrate a massacre (all, including the ataman, were drunk), 
shouting that the Jews were supplying the bolsheviki with cart- 
ridges (on the way they had met a certain Jewish youth who 
was carrying cartridges to sell to Czechs in a neighboring vil- 
lage; the boy was killed on the spot). The ataman of the 
tribe demanded that a large quantity of products be supplied 
to him. At this time there arrived from Zhitomir a small de- 
tachment commanded by Sokolovsky (the well-known Soko- 
lovsky from the village of Gorbulevo) and Col. Yanitzky. Under 
the influence of Yanitzky, Sokolovsky interfered and would not 
permit the pogrom to be carried out, and even arrested the 
ataman. Sokolovsky spent about a week here and all was 

Just before the Jewish Passover (April 15) there occurred 
an attack of Petlurists from Zhitomir passing through Chernia- 
khov with Vozny at their head. They took up quarters in the 
town over night, and some looting occurred. Yanitzky was 
equal to the occasion ; four looters were killed, and quiet ensued. 
Two days later they left. The Soviet forces arrived the 9th 
regiment (April 18). Looting took place extensively (peasants 
were also victims of it). The soldiers defended it by saying 
that the Jews were supporting Petlura, etc. After some days 
the regiment departed. 

After the last pogrom at Radomysl, rumors began to spread 
that Sokolovsky was coming to Cherniakhov. The symptoms 
appeared : the peasants began to gather, threats to the Jews were 
heard, and on June 19 the peasants came to the Jewish artisans 
and took away from them all the materials that had been fur- 
nished them for work ordered. The Jews were frightened and 
applied to the Revolutionary Committee to take measures. But 
Davidenko, the President of the Committee, and himself the 
military commissar, took no action. Afterwards the suspicion 
was confirmed that he was in league with Sokolovsky. On the 


next day, June 20, the band broke in and began to loot and kill 
In the course of something like an hour 14 Jews were killed; 
about 10 were wounded. The local Christians, especially the 
school teachers, came forward in defense of the Jews, and 
stopped the pogrom. In general the Christians of Cherniakhov 
varied in their attitude; sometimes they baited the Jews, some- 
times they defended them; they changed back and forth. 

The leader of the band called an assembly, at which Jews 
were also present (several times they were invited and then 
driven out). Prominent Christians advised the Jews to draw 
up a formal statement to the effect that they were not inter- 
fering in politics in any way, that they welcomed Sokolovsky, 
etc. The Jewish inhabitants were inclined to agree to this, but 
the young people, especially the members of the Bund and the 
Zionists, opposed it. The statement was not drawn up. Sev- 
eral hours later a Soviet armored train suddenly appeared, the 
band fled, and the Soviet forces occupied the town. They 
stayed two or three days, left some red soldiers, and departed. 
Things became disturbed again; many departed for Zhitomir 
(on the way to Zhitomir the Feldblum family, of five persons, 
was murdered). On Tuesday, June 24, some gangs again fired 
on the town; on that day and the next 14 more people were 
killed, and several days later, June 28, two more. 


Pogrom of March 25-29, 1919 

Testimony of S. L. Gorenstein 

The town of Yanushpol, government of Volhynia, canton of 
Zhitomir, is 25 versts from Berdichev and 26 versts from the 
station of Demchin, Southwestern Railroad. It has seven or 
eight thousand population, with fifteen or eighteen hundred 
Jews. There is a sugar factory (granulated and refined) in the 
town. It is one of the largest in Volhynia, and belongs to Z. N. 
Gorenstein. The employees of the factory are mostly Jews. 

The change from the Hetman's government to that of Petlura 
took place almost without trouble and without notice. After 
the disorders carried on by the secheviki (a kind of soldiers) 
there was some alarm in Berdichev and Yanushpol. Various 
rumors were afloat. The Jews organized night patrols for sev- 
eral nights. However, the alarm proved unnecessary. In gen- 
eral quiet reigned during the whole period of the Petlura regime. 
In the middle of February there appeared several communists, 


who came to Yanushpol to form a rebel detachment among the 
local peasants. The peasant youths willingly joined the de- 
tachment. A mobilization of peasants covering several years 
(of age) was declared. When they heard in Berdichev of what 
was going on in Yanushpol, a punitive detachment was dispatched 
thither, but it turned about midway on the road, because Soviet 
forces from the direction of Kasatin were approaching Berdi- 
chev. On the whole of the trip the secheviki chastised the Jews 
whom they met in the villages. Thus in the village of Karpovtzo 
all the property of several Jewish families was looted. Even a 
little synagogue was not spared; the sacred furnishings were 
destroyed, according to report. When Berdichev was taken by 
the bolsheviki, the insurgents from Yanushpol went to join 
them, together with the local guard. 

On March 25, fair day, at 5 P.M., a cavalry detachment of 
Petlurists, commanded by Ataman Borisov, entered the town. 
They at once burst into several rather well-to-do Jewish homes 
and began to loot. In one house the telephone bell rang at 
this time. They permitted the owner to go to the telephone, but 
and beat him and accused him of giving secret information 
over the telephone. They hauled him to the ataman, maltreating 
him frightfully on the way. Others brought along his wife 
and other persons who happened to be in the house at the time. 
The ataman, however, understood how ridiculous the accusation 
was and let them go. 

In the detachment there was a considerable percentage of 
Galicians and Poles. Many of them were richly dressed and 
had large sums of money with them. In general this detach- 
ment stood in cultural respects higher than the other detach- 
ments which arrived later. Among other things they said that 
Yanushpol was the only place where they had not been allowed 
to have a pogrom so far. They had acquitted themselves espe- 
cially well, they said, in Novo-Chartoria. "After us," they said, 
"a baggage train is coming, and infant^, and you had better 
be afraid of them." On the next day, March 26, the secheviki 
opened the Jewish shops and gave permission to peasants, who 
rushed together from the surrounding villages, to take whatever 
they wanted. One soldier threw into the crowd a fifty-ruble 
note, saying as he did so that he had taken this from the Jews 
not for himself personally, but for the whole mass of the poor 
people. On the evening of the same day there began a visitation 
of the well-to-do houses. Wherever the secheviki found nothing 
to take, they cruelly beat everyone, large and small, with whips 
and gun-butts, etc. "You think I want your money," said one 


soldier; "I want to destroy your Jewish life." On the next 
day, March 27, the looting increased, and the bandits went 
around accompanied by peasant lads, who indicated where it 
was worth while to go in. 

On the evening of the same day the detachment's baggage- 
train arrived. The alarm among the Jews increased. Some 
of them, employees of the factory, ran to the factory grounds 
and hid in various of the factory barns. The night, however, 
went off quietly. On the next day a rumor spread that the 
baggage-train was departing. The employees were on the point 
of dispersing to their homes, when people came from the town 
with the terrible news that the pogrom had started. Soon the 
news of the first murders arrived. A terrible panic broke out 
at the factory among the Jewish employees. The Christian 
workmen, employees, skilled artisans, and guards, were quite 
indifferent to all that was taking place. They did not respond 
to the proposal of the Jewish employees to organize a guard 
for the factory. One employee proposed to send to the secheviki 
a delegation from the factory committee, the local Russian in- 
tellectuals, the officialdom, and the orthodox and catholic clergy; 
to which the president of the committee replied that "this would 
be not at all suitable, that it did not come within their com- 
petence, and that in general the Christian religion did not permit 
the defense of people of other faiths." 

In the town itself there were left only few Jews who had 
not gone out to the factory. In the course of the day the 
secheviki visited all the houses and beat half to death whom- 
ever they caught in them. This went on all day Friday and Sat- 
urday. The secheviki took only money, watches, and the most 
valuable articles. After them hundreds of peasants followed, 
men and women, who literally took everything out of the houses. 

On Friday two soldiers of the mounted detachment came to 
the factory grounds. This time they did no more than take 
several sacks of sugar from the storehouse on the orders of 
their leader. Some Christian workmen and employees at last con- 
sented to form a guard from their own midst, in the house of 
the manager of the factory, where many Jewish employees were 
concealed. It is curious to note that the only employee of the 
factory who showed himself very active in the defense of it 
was D., a former member of the Union of the Russian People 
(the reactionary Nationalist Party, the organizer of the "Black 

On Saturday, March 29, the secheviki came to the above- 
mentioned home of the manager of the factory. The presence 


of the Christian workmen, and the external quiet and calm with 
which they were met by the owners, somewhat confused the 
bandits, and they only asked to be permitted to wash and have 
something to eat. Having washed and eaten, they started to 
look for weapons. The head of the gang said to a student, the 
son of the owner of the house: "Don't look on me as a man, 
I am a wolf, because I am a sechevik." These words they re- 
peated frequently. They visited the factory nearly twenty times ; 
each time they were bought off with money. On Monday, 
March 31, the pogrom quieted down somewhat. On Friday, 
April 4, the secheviki broke loose again for several hours, after 
which, under pressure of the Soviet forces, they left the town. 

To the Central Section for the Relief of Victims of Pogroms 

From Krupnik, a Citizen of the Town of Annopol 
W'' .:.,'.: 

From the very first day of the occupation of Ukraine by the 
Petlurist forces, small detachments of Petlurists began to arrive 
in the town of Annopol, who unmercifully looted the Jewish 
population, but did no killing. After one occurrence, when a 
Petlurist robbed a soldier who had just returned from captivity 
in Germany and who offered resistance, the Petlurists began 
beating people up, and in one day eight were killed and about 
sixty wounded. The wounded, afraid of being shot, did not 
show themselves on the street, and died for lack of treatment. 

For about two months the Jews lay in cellars and bath- 
houses. They did not hide in synagogues, because there had 
been a case in which the Petlurists had plundered Jews who 
were hiding in a synagogue. The Jewish Community was 
functioning officially, but was not active, because on the first 
day of the arrivaj of the Petlurists its president, Holtzmann, 
was arrested and shot. Small bands of five or ten men rode 
into the town, and, not finding the inhabitants, would look in 
cellars and in the cemetery and other places, and if they found 
inhabitants would take them home and demand that they show 
them the places where their property and money were hidden. 
If they were not shown and were not given money, they would 
kill them. Contributions were imposed almost every day. At 
first they would impose levies of a hundred or fifty thousand; 
but later, when the resources of the place ran out and many 
of the inhabitants had been killed, they took three thousand or 
even only one thousand each time. Besides money they took 
clothing, pillows, samovars. In a word, they robbed the town 


of a sum amounting to three or four millions. The dead 
amount to fifteen, among them a girl of sixteen, shot on the 
street without any reason. The Petlurists ran around the 
streets shouting, "Kill the Jews, even the Jewish children." At 
a meeting which took place in the town the Petlurist officers 
appeared and cried shame on each other because the Jews had 
driven them out of Berdichev. The Christian population did 
not move a finger to help the Jews. They took from the Jews 
not only money, but even fodder for the horses, and the Jews 
had to buy of the Christian population everything that the Pet- 
lurists needed, even tallow. After the Petlurists left, the popu- 
lation looked to the bolsheviki as saviors, but were disappointed 
in their expectations, since the bolsheviki also made themselves 
felt. The units which came looted the population, and what the 
Petlurists didn't take the bolshevik units took. The actions of 
the Taraschan regiment may serve as an example. When the 
Taraschan regiment was transported to Rovno, they stopped 
for the night in Annopol, and all night long plundered the place, 
so that on the next day they carried away the loot in carts. 
But more than that, fifteen men of this same regiment remained 
as garrison. They opened the shops and scattered abroad the 
goods which the Petlurists had left. There was a case in which 
the head of the detachment imposed a levy of 15,000 rubles, of 
which 11,000 was paid. But in spite of the levies and improper 
requisitions without the issuance of revolutionary orders, never- 
theless the population remained content with the bolshevist regi- 
ments, because at least they did not kill. The "Kombed" (Com- 
mittee of the Poor), which was organized after the departure of 
the Petlurists, made every effort to aid the hundred and fifty 
families who had lost all. For this purpose it started a mill 
going, which belonged to a land-owner Ivkov, and it is distrib- 
uting among the poorest population what is received for the 
grinding of flour. But this is a drop in the bucket. There is 
no clothing, and very little medical aid (there is a hospital), 
while in the town and the surrounding district typhus is raging, 
so that the situation is desperate. The Committee of the Poor 
also distributes salt to the population, but in very small quan- 
tities; a pound of salt costs 30 to 35 rubles and there is none 
to be had in town. Medicines are distributed free, but many 
drugs are not to be had in town. There are no longer either 
rich or poor, so that there are no means -for furnishing medi- 
cines. The population is reckoned at 6,0(50, and of these 150 
families are entirely without means, while the remaining six 
or seven hundred families are living from hand to mouth. 


In attaching hereto the certificate issued by the Annopol 
Committee of the Poor, I beg you to grant aid in money to the 
extent of 500 rubles for each Jewish family, so that thereby at 
least for the time being the population may be relieved, until 
the formation in the canton of a Committee of Relief, and until 
the Committee of the Poor may be able to give more help. The 
prices in Annopol are frightful. A pound of bread costs seven 
or eight rubles, whereas two weeks ago it cost four rubles. 
Work of every sort is at a standstill, the shops are closed, so 
that even at seven rubles there is no bread. Therefore I, the 
emissary of the Committee of the Poor, beg you to supply aid 
for the physically and morally crushed population. For five 
years now, that is, since the beginning of the war, Annopol has 
been living on the basis of military activities, and at every 
change of government Annopol has borne on its shoulders all 
the weight of violence and destruction. Hence I beg you to 
hear the voice crying in the wilderness and send financial aid 
to the extent of 500 rubles for each family. The local Com- 
mittee of the Poor will take upon itself the handling of the 
money and the furnishing of relief; it is acquainted with local 
conditions. If the section decides to grant money, I beg you 
to hand it over to me, personally, since money sent through 
various institutions is a long time in arriving. 


Supplementary Report 

The population was principally employed in the grain and 
lumber business. There are tanneries, and many workmen; it 
was a very wealthy town. It is proposed to use the money for 
the establishment of a dining-hall and hospital. The 150 fami- 
lies in want, mostly artisans, even if the instruments of produc- 
tion could be furnished them, would have no work to do and no 
orders. The amount requested is for first aid. Typhus is rag- 
ing; there is a hospital, with inventory and list; but there are 
no supplies and hence it is not functioning. 


To the Volochisk Revolutionary Committee, from the Under- 
signed Citizens of the Town of Volochisk: 


It is now more than six weeks that the present condition of 
our town and district has lasted like one long nightmare. It 


is not the bombs that burst over our heads almost every day and 
in great numbers, nor the incessant fire from machine guns 
and rifles that frightens us. From the bombs the popula- 
tion can hide in cellars. But for three weeks now the 
violent and arbitrary actions of certain Red soldiers in 
our town have never ceased. Our hundreds of depositions 
have no results, since the militia is. powerless to do anything 
against the Red soldiers. But in the meantime in broad day- 
light homes are broken open, and, under fear of death by 
shooting, the property of people who are not rich (for the rich 
have left town), but poor petty traders and principally workmen, 
is carried off. The losses already amount to about five millions. 
There have been cases of beating in cellars, while the hiding 
population was being fired upon. Old men and women have 
been beaten. Locks of stores are broken open at night, and 
what goods are left there are carried off. A violent anti-Semitic 
agitation is going on. 

In view of all the above-mentioned facts, we apply to you 
with the request that you adopt measures to put a stop to 
occurrences of this sort, and appropriate a sum for the support 
of the existence of the plundered poor population. 


To the Head Mission of the Russian Society of the Red Cross 

for Ukraine and Crimea, Division of Relief for Victims of 

Pogroms: From S. S. Kahan, in Charge of Relief Work 

in the District of Korosten 

August 10, 1919 

The Korosten region of relief work includes Korosten, Usho- 
mir, Luginy, Olevsk, Vaskovichi, and Ovruch.f The center of 
this region, because of its geographical position, is the town of 
Iskorost (railroad station of Korosten, Southwest Railroad). 
The pogrom outbreaks, all characteristic manifestations of the 
first wave of pogroms in Ukraine, took place here comparatively 
long ago, in the winter (January) and in the early spring 
(March and April). This district has already been investigated, 
in part twice, by agents of the Central Jewish Committee (Ov- 

* Cf . infra, pp. 200 ff. 
t Cf . infra, pp. 185 ff. 


ruch, by A. I. Hillerson and myself; the other places of the 
district, by I. G. Tzifrinovich). In the time following the visits 
of the agents to these places, there have been no new occur- 
rences of pogroms here. The bloody stream of banditry and 
insurrection, which inundated almost the whole of the govern- 
ments of Kiev and Podolia, touched the edges of this district, 
but until the last days did not break loose within its borders. 
The population of these places, in particular of Korosten, found 
it hard, of course, to forget the occurrences of the past po- 
groms. But the sharpness of the moment, the bitter want of 
the first days after the pogrom, the uncooled blood of the vic- 
tims all this has had time to heal somewhat, and had it not been 
for general political and economic conditions, the wounds in- 
flicted on the life of the people might have been healed. But 
the trouble is that it is characteristic of Korosten that this place 
is a central point strategically speaking a favorite tid-bit for 
the various contending sides in the civil war. For half a year 
Korosten has remained a theater of military activities on the 
front. The military side holds the center of attention here. 
Here there is always an armed camp. Not far away are the 
"positions," now of the Poles and Petlurists, now of what is 
called in recent times the "internal front." The civil side, the 
departments of government and industry, are all the time in 
a state of suppression here. All the actual power belongs to the 
military departments, which are, of course, "good" or "bad," 
and to whose whims the population of this strip along the 
front is exposed. The general political conditions, the nearness 
of the "positions" (of the armies), the instability of the front 
all create a feeling of uncertainty about the morrow, a state of 
unemployment, and economic depression. And the "co-opera- 
tives" and "sackers" have not been able to improve the economic 
position of the majority of the Jewish population. 

In Korosten it is hard to define exactly the moment of the 
"present" authentic Jewish pogrom. Here, as is shown by the 
reports of my predecessors, the pogrom outbreaks happened re- 
peatedly. Moreover this town has the distinction of being the 
first scene of pogroms in Ukraine. The devastation which is 
caused by a pogrom in the specific sense of the word, was caused 
here in Korosten not only by pogroms but also by the presence 
and the rule of military units of all colors, of all political orien- 
tations. The neighboring towns say of Korosten that in Koro- 
sten there "really never was any genuine pogrom," and this town 
has been considered fortunate in the matter of pogroms, up to 
very recent days. 


The moment of my arrival in Korosten happened to coincide 
with a new wave., with a new stage in the civil war here in this 
region. Under the influence of reverses on the front, and on 
account of the drafting, outbreaks against the "commune" and 
the "Jews" began in many villages and hamlets. Unexpectedly 
for the small groups of Jewish families living in the surrounding 
villages and hamlets (three, four, or five families in a place), 
armed peasants began to appear, assemblies were called, upris- 
ings were organized against the Soviet regime; and, as a neces- 
sary ritual of such uprisings, plundering and murder of individ- 
ual Jews. The inhabitants of these scattered localities,, which 
none of us knew anything about, fled 'to their capital of Koro- 
sten, leaving their property exposed to plunder at the hands of 
the local peasants; or they even abandoned their families and 
fled pellmell wherever they happened to be able to go. All these 
tiny places, such as Shershni, Tulchinki, Dobrini, etc., with their 
two or three [Jewish] families (see pages 1-6 the report), ex- 
perienced the same things as were experienced in Zhitomir, 
Ovruch, and Proskurov, where we know and all the world knows 
what happened. The whole horror of their position consisted 
in the doomed situation in which they found themselves. Ban- 
dits hunted them down, "for their lives," as Matiashko, the head 
of the bands operating hereabouts, said. The victims of these 
outbreaks were people who were not in the least to blame for 
anything old-time and aged inhabitants of the villages, who 
hated the "commune" as much as those who killed them in the 
name of the struggle against this "commune." Into these locali- 
ties an investigating agent will never penetrate; they will never 
be recorded in the pages of a report. All these uprisings against 
the regime and the Jews occurred under the banner of Soko- 
lovsky, whose detachments operated in the region near Zhitomir. 
In many places there was no direct connection with Sokolovsky*s 
detachments, but the peasants, thinking that at present they had 
to give themselves some name or other, decided to call them- 
selves his followers. There were places where the peasants, 
although they rose against the Soviet regime, nevertheless distin- 
guished themselves from Sokolovsky; in such places there were 
neither murders of Jews, nor even robberies. In certain places 
a new trait may be noted in the relations of the insurgent peas- 
ants to the Jews. Thus, in the town of Ushomir (about which 
see below), near Korosten, the rebel peasants did not touch any 
of the Jews. Fifteen of the rebels appeared in the town early 
one morning, summoned all the Jews into the synagogue, and 
there announced to them, that they had come not to destroy the 


Jews but to fight the commune, and that if the Jews would co- 
operate with them in this fight, all would be well. At the same 
time the rebels warned the Jews not to assemble for the im- 
pending mobilization declared by the bolsheviki. The same thing 
happened in several other places, where the Jews even announced 
to the government that they could go to the rallying-point (for 
military service) only in case the peasants went, too. But if 
such idylls of the civil war did take place, they took place only 
in a few towns and villages, where the insurgents were local 
peasants who saw before them only "their own" Jews, in whom 
they did not suspect "communism" in the least. 

But the capital of the district, Iskorost, was apparently con- 
sidered by the peasants a citadel of communism, and the peas- 
ants watched everything that went on there very closely. And 
when I arrived in Korosten and started to organize a dining- 
hall and to arrange a kettle, that same awful "common kettle" 
with which the agitators frighten the peasants, that authentic 
symbol of a "commune"; and when the report of this "kettle" 
came to another town, Ushomir, they began to say that in Koro- 
sten "the Jews are already establishing a commune, the kettle 
has already been seen" ... In Ushomir the peasants said to 
the Jews: "Go to Korosten, there the kettle is all ready!" The 
Jews of Ushomir were frightened, fearing that they would be 
accused of founding a "commune," and begged me not to start 
a dining-hall in Ushomir like that in Korosten, lest it bring 
upon them the charge of communism ! Thus amid tragic and 
tragi-comic incidents and occurrences passed the first days of 
work in the district, from June 24 to July 5. This was the first 
period of the insurrection; a period of attempts at rebellion, 
cautious and timid as yet, and scattered outbreaks among the 

Pogrom of July 16-19, 1919 

I. Testimony of Isaac Goldberg, Aged 23, Teacher and Man 
of Letters 

Until the recent nightmare-experiences there was no danger 
in Slovechno for the Jewish population. 

The Jewish population of Slovechno consists of forty per 
cent laboring element, workmen; the rest of the Jewish popula- 
tion consists of petty merchants, an insignificant number being 


large merchants and tanners. The peasants live intermingled 
wth the Jews first a peasant's hut, then a Jew's. Only the 
center of the town is inhabited mainly by Jews. The Russian 
population of the town is mostly poor; they have little land and 
are mainly hired laborers. In recent times the peasants have 
been working for Jews and thus had dealings with them. Often 
the peasants furnished hides to Jewish tanners to be worked 
over. Destitution is great among the peasants of Slovechno ; 
many have no bread. The relations between the peasants and 
the Jews have been those of good neighbors until the most 
recent times. The Jews in their economic position were not 
sharply distinguished from the peasants; there was no striking 
differentiation as to wealth. The Jews worked just like the 
peasants; they walked bent over, and were tattered and op- 
pressed. When there were attacks of bandits in other places, the 
Jews of the town (the well-to-do ones, of course) bought them- 
selves off by paying money to certain well-known and noisy, 
murderous leaders. 

From the time when exportation of wares from the town 
ceased (by regulation of the government), speculation also 
ceased and many of the peasants were deprived of their earnings, 
and began to hunt for something to earn so as to make a living. 
This was of significance in the further development of bandit 
tendencies. Last winter a "Union of Workmen" was formed in 
the town. When this Union got hold of the power, it be- 
gan to be avenged for its previous position. The laboring Jews 
are the most downtrodden element among the Jews. And when 
it came about that these people got the chance themselves to run 
factory and government, they revenged themselves by imposing 
a contribution on the town. The workmen were Jews and the 
contribution was imposed also on Jews (tanners). Of course it 
was Jews who disliked the activities of the Union of Workmen ; 
and yet afterwards, when the Petlurists came to the town, the 
peasants reproached the Jews for not surrendering "their own 
people" who were responsible for disorders. Thus quarrels of 
a political nature were started. At first, however, this bore no 
consequences for the Jewish population. All the time that po- 
groms were going on in the surrounding towns, Slovechno ex- 
perienced no alarm, and the Jews of Ovruch in their time even 
found a safe refuge there. 

The Russian intellectuals of Slovechno were of peasant stock, 
and Petlurist in their views. They included a surgeon, a teacher, 
the postmaster, the members of the Executive Committee, the 
priest, and his son. Accustomed to work for their own race and 


on their own responsibility, receiving no directions from above, 
they now fell under the pressure of the Soviet regime, with 
which they had no sympathy. At the same time they clashed 
with the Jews as representatives of the Soviet regime, and this 
created in them a hostile attitude towards the Jews. A month 
ago a commander of militia who was a Polish noble arrived in 
the town. With his appearance rumors began to spread that he 
was an instigator of pogroms. The commander himself tried 
not to give himself away and to behave very carefully. 

On Tuesday evening alarming rumors began to spread in the 
town, that an uprising against the Jews was being prepared. The 
Jews were greatly perturbed. Groups of excited people gathered 
on the streets; numbers of Jews stood outside the houses, dis- 
cussing the situation in alarm. About nine or ten o'clock in the 
evening representatives of the Jews applied to the commander of 
militia asking him to organize a guard, and offering him the ser- 
vices of Jewish guardsmen. The commander reassured them, and 
declared that he would be able to cope with any outbreak. The 
Jewish militiamen went out to keep watch, but without any arms. 
About midnight the commander of militia with the militiamen 
came forth. The Jews at first were reassured, on seeing the 
armed men coming out to keep guard. But the militiamen paid 
no attention to the Jewish militiamen and started out of town, 
with the commander of the town militia. As they left the town 
the militiamen fired two volleys. About ten minutes after this 
there appeared, as if at the word of command, about thirty or 
forty bandits with ten rifles. They came with cries of "Hur- 
rah, kill the Jews !" and began to break windows. Looting be- 
gan and continued all night. Towards morning the looting 
ceased. The Jews came out of their holes and again discussed 
the situation, and decided to win the favor of the commander 
of militia so that he should guard the town. The sum of 15,000 
rubles was collected, and receiving it, the commander promised 
to furnish protection. 

But Wednesday evening looting began again, and also cruel 
murders. Not all the peasants took an active and conscious 
part. Many peasants took things which they most needed, say- 
ing that just now you could take, and that it was necessary to 
hurry, or next day it might be forbidden. On Wednesday the 
Jews began to flee from Slovechno ; still more left on Thursday, 
mostly on foot ; it was impossible to get carts anywhere. The 
Jews walked along with their wretched parcels of whatever 
things they happened to pick up, the women leading the children 
by hand. On the way the malicious joy of the peasants over 


the unhappy fugitives was striking. Only in a few places peas- 
ant women shook their heads mournfully and murmured some- 
thing sympathetic. 

Thus Thursday passed. The most terrible thing of all in our 
town took place on Friday. Other witnesses have already re- 
ported this to you. In my opinion young peasants took the 
most active part in the pogrom. The old men were in- 
different to what happened. On Friday I was no longer in 
Slovechno, but on Friday evening I started back as a volunteer 
with the first detachment which came to the town. After spend- 
ing the night in Pokalevo we arrived in Slovechno towards 
morning on Saturday. We could get no carts from peasants on 
the way, and the men of our detachment were terribly tired. 
I think that the weak action of the commander of our detach- 
ment was responsible for this. He was a sailor, who apparently 
had no intention of taking energetic action with reference to 
the peasants. Before we came nearer than two versts to Slo- 
vechno our detachment spread out in a chain and surrounded 
the town with its flanks. In the town we perceived a rather 
large crowd which began to disperse upon our appearance; only 
a few of the crowd were caught in our chain ; some of them we 
shot. The head bandits, whom I know very well, escaped. One 
we caught with a rifle and afterwards took to Ovruch. In the 
town we found a spectacle which it is hard to describe. It is 
hard to believe that this was reality and not a nightmare. Not 
a living soul on the streets. A herd of cows was wandering 
about the town; the peasants had turned them loose when they 
heard that the bolsheviki were approaching; the cows belonged 
to Jews. On the street broken articles were scattered about, 
corpses were lying, traces of blood were everywhere. The 
houses showed external signs of devastation (broken windows 
and doors); in the yards everything was in confusion; in the 
houses into which we looked lay corpses, including the bodies of 
children. In the town I noticed the priest coming out of his 
house with his daughter. After him I noticed a girl, whom I 
knew, coming out, with a crazed appearance ; at first I hardly 
recognized her. The priest had a calm and majestic appearance, 
and walked triumphantly along the street with the aspect of 
beneficence (of his role in the occurrences you probably know 
from other testimony). 

We did not venture to remain long in the town, since we 
could not rely on our forces, and we abandoned the place. As 
we were leaving we saw peasants hiding things which they evi- 
dently had stolen. When we tried to stop these peasants, the 


commander of our detachment prevented us from doing so. He 
even said that in the detachment "Jewish national feeling was 
too much aroused," and that this was "not appropriate." We 
could, I think, have soon established order in the town, if we 
had only met at least a few living people, from among our 
friends, seeking our aid. We saw no one in the town. A wilder- 
ness received us. We saw only bandits, and lost heart from 
this. The attitude to us of our commander and of certain ele- 
ments in our detachment still more disturbed us and deprived us 
of the necessary courage and energy. 

To all that I am communicating to you I should like to add 
a few words about our Slovechno Rabbi, who was killed in 
Ratner's house during the pogrom. This Rabbi was, in the literal 
sense of the words, an ornament and a pride of our town. Abso- 
lutely every one loved and respected him. Himself orthodox, 
he enjoyed the sympathy of all free-thinking people. He was 
not in sympathy with any pressure upon the conscience and 
opinions of others. He was a man of broad views, who allowed 
complete freedom even to his own family, and among the ortho- 
dox population of the town his family was the most liberal. 
This man had an enormous influence, not only among the Jews ; 
even the peasants applied to him to decide their quarrels. He 
was about fifty years old. 


II. Testimony of Y. M. Melamed. Relation of the Peasants to 
Us before the Pogrom 

At the time when pogroms were widespread throughout all 
Ukraine, our peasants took a quite kindly attitude towards us. 
They even promised to protect the town from the attacks of 
pogromists of other villages. After the occupation by the bol- 
sheviks of Ovruch and its canton, they changed somewhat, to be 
sure, saying that this was a "Jewish regime," but still they didn't 
touch the Jews. The first anti-Semitic movement began in the 
village of Tkhorin, where under the watchword "away with 
communist speculators" they would not admit into the village 
Jewish widows, who were coming there with pots to exchange 
them for a piece of bread or potatoes. The matter went so 
far that during the last two weeks before the pogrom, there 
and on the road to the village of Begun (four versts from 
Slovechno), Jews were beaten and robbed of their last piece 
of bread and their last potatoes, which they were bringing home 


to their unhappy children. The Executive Committee of the 
district took no measures to stop these unjust actions. 

On Saturday, June 29, on the festival of Sts. Peter and Paul, 
there was a district convention of all the villages surrounding 
the town, where there was a discussion of the decree received 
from Ovruch to the effect that the registration of weights and 
measures should be transferred from the priest to a department 
of the district Executive Committee's government. The point 
of view of the convention was terribly counter-revolutionary and 
anti-Semitic. All the peasants shouted ^rith one voice that "this 
is all on account of the Jews," "they want to close the church 
and remove the priest." Of course there was no idea of admit- 
ting Jews to the convention; they even drove away a Jewish 
member of the Committee of the Poor, saying "we don't need 
any Jews." The Executive Committee even then took no meas- 
ures to pacify the people and explain to them the object of the 
decree and its real meaning ; on the contrary, it hinted at pro- 
testing and not accepting the decree. Almost all the peasants 
left the convention saying, as it were addressing the Jews, 
"Enough of your commune, enough of your closing churches." 
On the evening of the same day two Jews (the local druggist 
and I myself) were delegated to go to the priest and find out 
what the peasants were concocting. The delegates pointed out to 
him that the Jews were, so to speak, between the devil and the 
deep sea, that is, on the one hand we were accused of being 
spies and counter-revolutionaries (see an article "Struggle with 
the Jewish counter-revolution," in the communist paper for 
July 8), and on the other hand we were accused of closing 
churches and of wishing as communists to "eat free." The 
delegates asked him to explain to the peasants on Sunday after 
service, that the Jews here had nothing to do with it, and that 
the Christians like ourselves should submit to the government. 
The priest replied that there was no reason to be afraid of his 
parishioners and that he would explain all this to them on the 
next day, that is, Sunday. This rather satisfactory answer re- 
assured us a little. Sunday and Monday passed as usual and 
very well. But Tuesday morning a rumor spread through the 
town that there would be a pogrom at night. However, there 
were no actual facts at hand, and we did not take the matter 
seriously. It was not until evening that suspicious persons were 
observed on the streets young peasants placed on guard with 
the militiamen. Besides these about thirty Jews were on watch 
until one o'clock. At that time the commander of militia began 
to disperse the Jewish guard, saying he would get along without 


us. The Jewish guardsmen tried to beg him to allow them to 
stay. Instead of reply he gave what were evidently signal shots 
in all directions from the town; and shots were fired also at 
the guardsmen. The Jews fled through the outskirts, and as they 
left they saw from a distance bandits coming from all sides and 
pogromists with rifles, pitchforks, and crowbars. And soon we 
heard "Hurrah, kill the Jews and communists," and the sounds 
of broken windows and doors. Indescribable were the cries of 
women and children, just roused from sleep by the inhuman 
cries of the bandits and by volleys of shots. From all sides 
a crowd of peasants poured in, men and women, with sacks, and 
began to break in doors and loot. Women and children tried to 
flee through windows and were immediately met by blows and 
shots. With every minute the horror increased. Here women 
rushed about with cries of "Where are my children?" here 
with laughter the "conquerors" carried off trophies; here a 
woman flogged, there a wounded man; thus it continued till 
morning. The crowd of looters peasants from the villages of 
Mozhari, Verpa, Boknevschina, Tkhorin, Begun, Antonovichi, 
Gorodetz, Petrischi, Listvin scattered, leaving behind them 
fragments of window-glass, broken doors, and empty homes 
with beaten old men who had not been able to escape. The 
Jews who had fled returned with lamentations to their homes. 
The local peasants ridiculed them and said, "We didn't touch 
you, but others showed you how to be bolsheviks." The Jews 
when they came together began to search for their scattered 
relations. There were found in the town one seriously wounded 
man, who died on the way to the hospital, and one wounded in 
the mouth and head ; half an hour later four others were found 
dead. It is hard to describe the grief which the Jews felt as 
they buried their victims, who were not responsible for any- 
thing, and as they saw at the same time how some of the looters 
who still remained, continued, amid the lamentations of the 
wretched people, to "clean up" the remnants of their belongings. 
After the burial almost all decided to leave this unhappy town 
and flee to Ovruch. But then provocatory rumors were spread 
abroad that the same thing was being repeated in Ovruch and 
that the bolsheviki had abandoned the canton. The day of 
Thursday, July 16, passed with the departure of several families, 
taking the remains of their possessions, to seek refuge with 
peasants whom they knew in the villages, and to hide in their 
barns. Still the town watched passively while the people's 
property was being carried off, while the militia was drunk all 
day long. All the unfortunates could do was to wonder what 


to do and whither to flee the next night The whole day long 
peasants continued to alarm them with "advice" to flee, or else 
all would be killed. The day finished with all in hiding, some 
in the villages, some in thickets, some with peasant "acquaint- 
ances." On Thursday night they again gave the commander of 
militia 17,000 rubles to guard the town from further attacks. 
But in spite of this the night was still more terrible than the 
preceding one. Almost all Jews who were in the villages were 
killed. The remnants of their possessions which they had taken 
with them were stolen. Precisely speaking, from the village of 
Begun eight slain were brought in, two women, three children, 
and three men; from Verpa, two slain, and one wounded. The 
militia disappeared. In the town even stoves and furniture were 
smashed, and they didn't spare so much as an earthenware pot. 
On Thursday morning at the time of the burial of the above- 
mentioned victims brought from the villages, the cries of the 
women and the despair of the men reached horrible proportions. 
The Jews decided that all, with the Rabbi at their head, 
should gather in the public square and entreat the bandits not 
to continue tormenting the town. Some went to the priest to 
beg him also to take part in the meeting. When all the Jews 
collected they met the bandits with "bread and salt" and the 
Rabbi addressed them, asking them either to let us all go alive 
or else kill us all on the spot, and not torture us one by one. 
In reply to the Rabbi's speech all the bandits cried with one 
voice: "This is your commune, this is your Jewish government." 
The Rabbi again began to weep before them, but got no sym- 
pathy. Then the priest made a speech. This speech had a 
clearly counter-revolutionary and anti-Semitic character. "Al- 
though the Jews have deserved all this," he said, "they have 
issued decrees separating church and state, etc., nevertheless, 
according to the Gospel, it is wrong to kill even guilty people. 
However, do as you like." His words stirred up the ignorant 
masses still more, and all day Thursday they did not cease to 
plunder what property was left, and they beat up all the Jews 
they met on the streets. The Jews wandered like madmen about 
the town, not knowing where to hide at night. They were afraid 
to flee to the villages, since they had already seen the conse- 
quences of that, in the morning, when the slain were brought in 
from everywhere. Only towards evening they began to quiet 
down a little, since the local postmaster with some peasants 
called another meeting at which a resolution was passed not to 
permit further looting and murders, and ordered the Jews to 
remain at home, since there would be no more looting and 


killing. In spite of this the Jews decided to spend the night 
all in one place, in the second story of the house of a certain 
Ratner. Until three o'clock it was in fact peaceful. It seemed 
that peace had been re-established. The postmaster with some 
peasants kept watch in the town and disbanded some ruffians. 
Only after three o'clock began that massacre which will always 
remain in the memories of those who spent the night in the 
place. Bandits armed with axes and rifles again approached the 
town, with their chief Kosenko at their head, and at once burst 
into the Ratner house, where almost all the Jews were. At once 
they killed five people outright, seriously wounding the Rabbi. 
The rest fled. Those who spent the night in gardens, hearing 
the cries and laments of those who were running through the 
town, began also to run about the streets in a panic, and were 
met there by a hail of bullets, which killed and wounded many 
(25). So it went on till 5 A.M. The murderers scattered again, 
evidently after bullets, but good-hearted peasants said they were 
going to return again soon, to finish up everything. In the mean- 
time the Jews began to rescue the seriously wounded. Especially 
they undertook to save the Rabbi, for he was very grievously 
wounded in the chest. But at this point shots were heard again. 
The murderers returned. Most of the Jews, seeing this, fled to 
Ovruch. About thirty or forty people, remained with the 
wounded, besides those who were hiding in gardens, fearing to 
fly to Ovruch, because of the provocatory rumors spread to the 
effect that the bolsheviki had abandoned Ovruch. On the way to 
the hospital the bandits finished the Rabbi with a thrust of a 
bayonet, and did the same to other wounded, whomever they met, 
including women and children. The ruffians met one woman 
(Kipnis) and raised her four-year-old child in the air on the 
point of a bayonet, and thrust it through. The unhappy mother 
got away. 

The result of this horror was 62 dead, about 45 wounded, and 
many who have disappeared without trace so far. Among the 
dead were the Rabbi and a certain Kiev student Naidich. I wish 
here to give brief statements by way of characterizing these two 
persons. Our Rabbi, Reb Boruch, was considered the ornament 
of Hebrew orthodoxy throughout the entire canton of Ovruch ; 
besides his religious training he was very cultivated in secular 
respects. All respected him not only as a religious pastor, but 
also as an intelligent man of the world, and all Jewish society 
worked in co-operation with him. Naidich was a student of the 
Commercial Institute, who was spending his vacation in Slo- 
vechno, and was co-operating, as an educated young man of the 


world, to a large extent in the development and extension of 
enlightenment among the young people of Slovechno. He served 
as an example to all by the nobility of his soul, his pure morality, 
and his courteous manners with people. These two victims will 
remain forever in the memory of all the people of Slovechno, 
and tears will long be shed over their destruction. 
The witness of these horrors, 


III. Testimony of Hannah Avrum-Berovna Gozmann, Aged 45 

On the 15th there were rumors all day long throughout the 
city about threatening events impending, but most of the citi- 
zens treated them lightly and with disbelief. My children and I 
therefore went to bed calmly (my husband was not at home, 
he had gone to Turob on business, and has not yet returned). 
In the town the local militia and a hired guard of honest peas- 
ants were on watch. In the night we were awakened by rifle 
shots. We were not frightened by them, thinking that they were 
fired by the local guard, which as usual in such cases was 
frightening the bandits by shots. But hearing wild cries and 
the sound of broken glass, I at once understood what was up. 
Wakening all the children, I hastened to get them into the 
store-room, because there is no glass there and it is safer from 
bullets. At this time all the windows of my house were smashed 
by stones thrown by the bandits. No one came into our house 
and until morning we remained in the storeroom. Going out on 
the street, I saw many peasant-compatriots. I applied to some of 
them asking them to grant refuge to me and my children. But all 
of them, though they were good acquaintances and friends, for 
some reason refused. By this time reports were coming in, one 
more terrible than another, about the killing of some Jews, and 
about what they were getting ready to do. I was afraid to stay 
over night with the children in my house, and went to my ac- 
quaintance Adam Sich (who was afterwards shot by the bol- 
sheviki). I did not find him at home. I urgently begged his 
wife to let us in. Approximately at midnight the owner of the 
house, Adam Sich, returned, but soon went away again and 
until morning kept going out and coming in again. I did not 
close my eyes all night long; I could not sleep. In the morning 
I went out into the town; all the frightened people were ex- 
changing experiences about the night with horror, and were 
talking with fear about the next night. Some reassurance was 
caused by the collection of money among the population for the 
ringleaders, especially when a considerable sum was handed over 


to them and they advised all to assemble in Ratner's house. 
With many others I hastened to hide in Ratner's house; but his 
daughter-in-law, Yekheved, meeting me at the threshold, said 
that she herself would not spend the night at home (the next 
day she was killed in that very house). Therefore I turned 
back and again succeeded in entreating the wife of Adam Sich 
to allow us to spend the night in her house. Adam did not 
spend the night at home; I was told that "he had taken the 
horses to the field." The next day I learned that the horses had 
not been taken to the field. 

On Friday morning I sent my son, aged 18, into town to 
find out what the situation was. He 'soon returned and with 
horror told me of the death of Grenader and others. (Grenader 
lay in the arms of the student Naidich, both killed on the square.) 
We had no time to look around when my Tzalik was already 
gone; with lamentations he rushed back to find my other chil- 
dren, my daughter Esther, and her husband Motl. After a short 
time Tzalik came bringing a cart laden with the remnants of 
our goods. Putting the children on the load, we started to flee 
towards Ovruch. As we drove out of the town, we met S. B. 
Burger with many Jews. They shouted to us that no one was 
allowed to leave the town and that they had been turned back; 
we also turned back (at that time the cart upset, and everything 
was scattered). I took the little children by the hand, and leav- 
ing everything, taking only the valuables (silver spoons, forks, 
cups, etc.), all of which I threw into the nearest garden, I ran, 
driven from behind by bandits, into the town to find my other 
children (Esther and Motl). On the way I met Avrum-Ber 
Portny, much agitated, who told me how all exits from the town 
were closed, and ran off, observing that many were running to 
his (Avrum-Ber's) house. With the children I hastened there, 
too. It is hard for me to describe what we experienced in that 
earthly hell. . . . Yes, yes, all the rooms packed full of 
the Jews of Slovechno, old men, women, children; many 
had hidden under beds, tables, couches, etc. When the first 
shot from the street resounded in the house, all, as if at the 
word of command, lay down on the floor; after the shot fol- 
lowed a violent knock at the closed doors. They were at once 
opened. Kosenko with a group of bandits appeared. All began 
to entreat him not to touch them, and offered money. He at 
first refused, but finally accepted it. Having received the money 
(more than 40,000) he turned to the assembled Jews with these 
words: "I gave you a period of two days to get out of here; 
you didn't go; now I will settle with you." And he ordered 


them out of the room. First went my son-in-law Motl, then my 
daughter Esther ; the third was I with the baby in my arms. At 
the exit a cordon of bandits was drawn up, who beat us and 
thrust at us, hit us with sabres, bayonets and gun-butts. My 
children Esther and Motl received severe wounds ; I got off with 
one blow with a gun-butt on my shoulder. Before me were my 
children, all bloody and half dead; behind me, the cries of hun- 
dreds of my compatriots, whom the bandits were destroying in 
Avrum-Ber's house. From all sides they were driving the Jews 
in dozens to the square. On all the streets the bodies of our 
innocent brothers and sisters were lying strewn about. I saw 
a picture which reduced me to stupefaction. I shall never 
forget it. Among the slain lay the wife of the shames Irka, 
wounded, and a peasant was kicking her in the head. Oh, my 
God, can it be that Thou dost not see this? Why is it? Such 
pictures were repeated many times on that day. We were all 
collected in one group, the shoes were taken off the feet of all 
the men, shouts resounded in Russian. At one side two bandits, 
one from the village of Tkhorin, the other from Usovo, threat- 
ened us with chastisement. (Maxim Liukhtan with a gun in 
his hands stood near us.) I began to beg them not to harm 
us, and promised to give them all our valuables which I had 
thrown into a garden. They agreed, and we started out (at 
this time I thought what will happen if someone has stolen 
them from the garden?). Thank God, everything was still there 
in the garden. I gave them all the valuables and begged them 
not to hurt us. One of them gave me three spoons, and said: 
"Well, take these, perhaps you will remain alive, and you will 
have something to eat with." But the other instantly tore them 
from his hand, took everything, and they went away, letting us 
go free. Happy in our freedom, we started on the way to leave 
that accursed place. My daughter Esther took off her smock, 
all bloody, and threw it on me, saying: "Mama, there is no 
blood to be seen on you, keep that on you, perhaps it will save 
you on the way." I did not resist, and we went on. I had my 
baby in my arms, and my children, dripping blood (they were 

At the second verst in the direction of the village of Petrushi 
we were overtaken by two men who had taken our valuables, 
with a peasant lad of twelve or thirteen, the boy armed with a 
gun ; and they demanded that we give them all that we had left. 
My son-in-law still had a silver watch; he gave it to them, plus 
some tens of rubles which we had with us. We managed some- 
how to drag ourselves to the village of Petrushi. The peas- 


ants refused us shelter, would not give us a cart under any con- 
ditions, or take us to the next village, and we, hungry, dishev- 
elled, worn out, as if accursed of God, struggled on farther. 
Before we had gone one verst to the village of Frankovka, a 
peasant boy took off my son-in-law's jacket, saying: "Too bad 
about the jacket, Jews, it is stained with blood;" and, with 
various yells, taunts and ridicule, he stole it and ran off. (In 
the course of our journey many peasants accused us of respon- 
sibility for a commune, calling us communists and bolsheviks.) 
With difficulty we got to the hovel of a peasant, who lived in the 
woods five versts from the village of Petrushi. It seemed to 
us that we were seeing it all in a dream: the peasant invited us 
to come into his hut and have a meal of soup. We were so 
thankful to him that we were ready to kiss him for his kind 
words (excuse me, I forgot to say, when we, after giving up 
our valuables, went past the house of Kosenko, his mother 
washed my daughter's wounds with water, saying: "Get away 
quick, or everything will be lost.") When we had fed on the 
soup and rested a bit we wanted to go away, but night was 
coming on, and we spent the night with the peasant. In the 
morning he hitched his horse and took us deep down into the 
woods, where there were already many Jews (this was on Sat- 
urday). We asked the Jews to lend us a few rubles to reward 
the peasant, but the latter categorically refused. We thanked 
him from our souls, and he left us. Among the Jews were 
some who were afraid there were too many of us. They pro- 
posed to scatter out more, and we with some of them started 
on the way to the town of Luginy. On the way we met peasants 
who warned us that we might fall into the hands of the gangs 
of Sokolovsky, who were operating in the region of Luginy. 
Some paid no attention and went on, but we, fearing that the 
wounds would fester and wanting to get as soon as possible to 
some sort of hospital, turned off towards the town of Valed- 
niki. We spent the night in the fields. On the morning of 
July 7 Ratner's cart picked us up and took us to Valedniki. 
There I found my son Tzalik, wounded. Having rested for a 
time, we went by way of the town of Norinsk to Ovruch, where 
my children got their first medical attention. The children are 
in the local hospital, while I am in Borman's house. 


IV. Testimony of Srul Ber Burger, Aged 53 
On Tuesday morning and through the day rumors began to 
spread in Slovechno that something wrong was in the air, that 


danger was threatening us Jews. With my whole family, my 
wife and children, I went to the border of the town, where the 
Jewish poor folk live; there also live the Jews who live to- 
gether with peasants. There we spent Tuesday night. When 
peasants came into the house where we were hiding, the owner, 
a barefoot, disheveled, tattered Jew, went out to see them; 
and this took away the peasants' inclination to plunder and kill. 
Wednesday all day and night my family and I spent in this 
place. I went out to reconnoiter, and learned of what was hap- 
pening in the town. My wife, hearing of the alarming situa- 
tion, didn't want to stay any longer in that house and wanted 
to move to another place, that we might not all be together, 
but we nevertheless remained. We hid in a closet, and just sat 
still, holding our breath. From the city rumors of the murders 
arrived. So passed the day and night of Wednesday. On Thurs- 
day a meeting was held in the synagogue and money was col- 
lected to move the hearts of the peasants. They collected 50,000 
rubles, and then invited the young fellows who led the bands to 
Ratner's house, gave them tea, and divided the money among 
them. Thursday night we again spent in the house of the Jew 
on the edge of the town. On Friday morning we came out of 
our retreat and began to see what we could learn. Alarm and 
confusion were abroad in the town. Apparently it was impos- 
sible to stay. We decided to leave the town. I set off in the 
direction of Ovruch with my wife and children (ten souls). We 
decided to let come what would. All the time rumors were 
being spread that the bolsheviki were no longer in Ovruch. 
That was why all the time until Friday we had not ventured to 
leave the town in the direction of Ovruch. Friday morning, as 
I said, we set out thither. But we were met by peasants with 
a volley, and started to run back (there were about eighty of 
us). We were driven into the house of Avrum-Ber, and there 
some of us were shut up in a bedroom, the rest stayed in the 
front room. The door into the house was closed. Immediately 
a company of peasants came and began to break windows and 
fire through the windows. We lay down on the floor, one on 
top of another, ten or fifteen people in a heap. A number of 
peasants entered the house with the peasant Kosenko at their 
head. Kosenko announced that he was going to kill all of us. 
Our money was taken away, and then the bandits began to cut 
down literally all, and to strike us with axes and sabres. Those 
who lay on top perished; those who lay underneath escaped. 
Blood flowed over the floor; groans and cries arose. I pre- 
tended to be dead, held my breath, and didn't move. At this 


time those who were in the other room, the bedroom, started to 
escape through the windows. I didn't know what happened to 
my wife and children. When the massacre ended I continued 
to lie there as if dead. Bandits came and investigated me to 
see if I was alive, and robbed me as dead. It was not until I 
heard Jewish words that I raised my head; it was Jews who 
had come to take away the corpses. I asked if I could get up. 
They told me to roll up my sleeves so that I could help in 
gathering the corpses. Blood everywhere, and all around the 
groans of the wounded. I went out with the corpses and laid 
them in the cart. I laid the body of my sister in the cart. As I 
did so, I saw with horror a dress I knew too well. I looked 
close, it was my wife's body. It turned out that she and my 
children had fled through a window, when they began to beat 
them, and at that moment a young fellow struck her in the side 
with a bayonet (so my six-year-old boy told me). My wife fell 
to the ground bathed in blood. The children sat beside her, 
the very smallest. My wife was still alive, and worrying for 
the fate of the children; she told them to go away, because 
they were killing even children. The children were frightened 
and started to run away, after first giving their mother a drink 
and laving her with cold water. She died from the severe wound, 
while the children ran along the road out of town. Jews fleeing 
from the town recognized my children and took them along. 
For a long time I did not know about the fate of my children, 
and only here in Ovruch were they brought to me by refugees 
from Slovechno. It was, as I just told you, my little son who 
told me how my wife suffered before her death, and how they 
gave her a drink and laved her with water. 

In all the crimes in Slovechno a small group of peasants from 
nearby villages took part, with Kosenko at their head. They 
were poorly armed and it would have been very easy to disarm 
them. At the head of the pogrom-outbreak was the commander 
of militia, who first took money from us, as if to protect us, but 
afterwards summoned the bandits by signal and began the po- 
grom, handing over to the pogromists the weapons which were 
entrusted to him. 


V. Testimony of Moishe Feldman, Aged 19, from Slovechno; 
Employee of the Forest Department 

The pogrom began with us Tuesday night. The first looting 
took place then. On the next morning we learned that six were 


slain. The whole day of Wednesday robberies continued in the 
town. On Thursday again five or six people were killed, but 
the most terrible day for our town was Friday, when the most 
fiendish murders and atrocities took place. On Friday morning 
we came out of our house and fled wherever our legs took us. 
Wherever we went we were met with shots. The peasants en- 
compassed the town with firing and drove the fleeing Jews into 
one place. Several hundred of us found ourselves in the house 
of Avrum-Ber Portny, and there we were all piled and heaped 
up on one another. It was close in the house, and terror and 
anguish reigned among us. When a certain peasant (Kosenko, 
from Slovechno) appeared and declared that he was the head 
f the insurgent forces, we began to entreat him and offered 
lim money. He answered, that since we had disobeyed his 
>rders to leave the town, he had decided to kill us all. Im- 
nediately the firing began through the windows of the place 
where we were gathered. Then the peasants began to beat us 
ip; they beat us with whatever came handy, trampled on us 
with their feet, and threw bombs. How many were killed, it is 
lard to be sure at present, but very many. Apparently they 
yould have killed all, but deadly weapons failed the bandits. 
i myself pretended to be dead and lay thus four or five hours. 
The bandits investigated me to see if I was alive, and struck 
me on the leg (my leg swelled up from that) ; then the mur- 
ierer began to draw off my shoes as from a dead man. 
The beasts occupied themselves with me and examined me 
for a whole hour. Feeling the breathing of these people on 
ne, I pretended to be quite dead. I lay there until people came 
ifter the bodies of the slain. Under me flowed a stream of 
Jewish blood; my leg ached. I got up and went with someone 
else to another house; they pursued us thither and wanted to 
kill us. Then I went to the cemetery, where they were burying 
six dead. On the way peasants met us and demanded that we 
should bury all the slain, "and then we will kill you and will 
bury you ourselves; we've had plenty enough work with you." 
"But if you want to live, then go to the priest and ask him to 
baptize all your sins out of you." Until evening we were busy 
at the cemetery. We didn't bury all. Many corpses remained 
at home and in the streets. The summer heat caused a stench 
of putrefaction from the bodies. Everywhere were pools of 
human blood. At evening we hid again, since looting and killing 
were still going on. All the Jews hid, and cowering each in his 
hole in a cellar or garret or in the bushes, expected death. The 
town presented a picture of desolation. The pogrom was char- 


acterized not only by looting but particularly by destruction of 
property. In the houses they smashed everything: windows, 
doors, furniture, table service; sometimes they destroyed the 
walls. Now there is not a house where the windows and doors 
are uninjured ; they opened up the ceilings and floors ; they car- 
ried off the domestic animals, all the goods of the Jews. The 
night of Friday I spent hidden in the grass near a storehouse, 
and on Saturday morning I left the town. 



Pogrom of June 23, 1919 

I. Testimony of Jos. Gines, Former Merchant of the Village 
of Shershni 

I am an inhabitant of the village of Shershni. My family has 
lived there a long time my father and grandfather. I was en- 
gaged in trade; had a shop in the village. There were five 
Jewish families altogether in the village, all inhabitants of the 
place for a long time, so to speak, well-rooted inhabitants. The 
pogrom, or rather devastation, took place with us before Easter. 
It was Petlurists who perpetrated it bands who came to us and 
looted. Up to the latest time there were no murders. The 
Jews in our place were of moderate means. In former times 
there were never any special clashes with the peasants. Only 
lately, in connection with the resentment of the peasants against 
the "commune," the peasants began to talk about the followers 
of Sokolovsky and to say that if they appeared everybody ought 
to join them. 

On Tuesday, June 23, quite unexpectedly about ten armed 
peasants appeared in my house, and with the words "Soko- 
lovsky's men have not been here," took me into the dining-room 
and demanded money and other things of me. Two peasants 
began to search me, and took away my money, while the others 
looted in the living-room and in the next room. They stole a lot 
of things, and demanded the key of the chest where clothing 
was kept. I said I didn't have the keys with me, but would go 
for them in the next room. As I passed through the hall, 
I noticed that there was no watch, and making up my 
mind that death was unavoidable in the house in any case, I 
went out through the hall into the courtyard, and then ran 


through the village and came to the village of Sobolevka, where 
my family lives (did live). When I went past the church in 
our village there stood the local commissar, Naum Scheling, an 
inhabitant of the place. I asked him for help. "I am afraid 
myself," was the commissar's reply. I took my wife and three 
children to Iskorost. In my house in Shershni I left my old 
father, aged 65, and my aunt. All the way I did not know 
what had happened to them, and only when I arrived here I 
learned that my father, Yukel Gines, had been killed by the 
highwaymen. I do not know under what circumstances. 


II. Testimony of Shaia Vaks, Aged 53, Petty Trader 

I live with my family in the village of Shershni. My family 
consists of nine souls, together with the family of my eldest 
son, who lives with me. I am an old inhabitant of that village. 
We have been living there for forty years. I have my own 

On Tuesday, June 23, about 5 P.M., I went out of my house 
to go to see the local commissar, Scheling. The trouble was 
that local youths had locked the door of our house from the 
outside the day before. This prank disturbed my wife and she 
insisted that I should go and tell the commissar about it. When 
I was at the house of the chief militiaman my wife rushed in 
to me in great alarm and said that armed men had come into 
our house and wanted to kill her, and demanded money. She 
told how these men, who called themselves Sokolovsky's men, 
had demanded money, and when she said she had no money, 
they began to shout at her, saying: "You are all communists." 
My wife and daughter declared that they were not communists. 
Then the armed peasants demanded that everyone in the house 
should sign a written statement that they were not communists. 
"You Jews and communists burn up our villages," said these 
people. The peasants took all who were in the house, including 
children, and took them all to the "commander" on the other 
side of the river. They were all taken to the house of Naivelzh 
(who was afterwards killed). Other Jews from other houses 
were also brought there. There were eighteen in all. There all 
of them were made to stand in line, and one of the peasants 
gave orders to load rifles; "and do a good job," he said, "so 
that we can shoot down eight people at a shot." Then my daugh- 
ter and daughter-in-law began to beg for mercy, promising to 
give them in return the gold hidden in the yard. After this 


statement the bandits showed lively interest, and took my daugh- 
ter and daughter-in-law to my courtyard, where the gold and 
money were given to them. The peasants went away. Before 
these peasants came back with our people, other bandits had 
entered the house and wrecked it completely, not leaving any- 
thing whole, breaking the windows and smashing the doors. 


III. Mikhel Naivat, Aged 43, Married, Four Children; 


My permanent home is in the village of Shershni. On Mon- 
day, June 22, I left Shershni for the fair at Chenovichi. At 
Chenovichi I met my father, who had come there from Shershni 
previously. On Tuesday my father went from Chenovichi back 
to Shershni. On the way he met a Jew who was going from 
Shershni to Melen and who told him that things were in a bad 
way in Shershni, and advised him not to go there. My father 
thought it over and went on to Shershni in spite of this. When 
he entered the village armed men attacked him and led him to 
our house. The daughter and daughter-in-law of Vaks saw this. 
The bandits beat my father, then led him to the place where all 
the other Jews of the village were assembled, and there shot 

My whole family, my wife and little children, remained in 
the village of Shershni. I do not yet know what happened to 
them, and cannot get any news of them. It is said that "Soko- 
lovsky's men" are still in "our village. I should like to go there 
and get my family and go away. My father was 65 years old. 



Pogrom of June 27, 1919 
Testimony of Etia Kipms, Aged 74, Merchant 

Three weeks ago bands of armed men came to our village. 
I was in my own house in the village of Dobrin, and my son 
Srul had gone to a mill nine versts from the village. Just while 
my son was at the mill, a group of bandits went past and asked 
those who were standing around the mill whether there were 
any Jews there. The peasants replied that there was one Jew, 
and indicated my son. The armed men went up to my son and 
killed him on the spot. The owner of the mill, a Russian, 


when the bandits left, buried my son right there beside the mill. 
We heard of my son's death on the same day. My other son 
on this day had gone to find the body of a certain young Jew 
who had been killed by the roadside. Peasants who met him 
told him he need not go after the body of a stranger, since his 
own brother was killed and buried beside the mill. In Dobrin 
two young men, including my son, were killed. In the neigh- 
boring village of Buki they killed two elderly Jews at the same 
time. In the village of Sany there was also killed a young 
man, Putinsky, 25 years old. The names of the Jews killed in 
Buki were Avrum Steinberg and Nukhim Margulis. After the 
murder of Nukhim Margulis, bandits came to the house the sec- 
ond time and wanted to kill his wife and children. When the 
bandits had already raised a revolver, a peasant who happened 
by ran up to them and said: "What are you doing? Kill the 
children first, don't leave them orphans." With these words 
the peasant seized the gun out of the bandit's hand and saved 
that family. At present all the Jews have fled from all these 
villages, and the local peasants are doing as they please; acting 
on the precept and example of the bandits, they have plundered 
the property of the Jews. 

The bandits who visited us call themselves "Sokolovsky's men" 
and operate under the command of a certain Matiashko, a young 
peasant, less than thirty years old, a former stone-cutter, from 
the village of Ganopal. He himself has taken part in the murder 
of Jews. He often goes into the villages and issues orders not 
to let the Jews get away nor to conceal them, under pain of 
death. This Matiashko goes into the villages, calls the peasants 
together, makes speeches, and agitates against the Jewish "com- 
munists." Our village did not adhere to Matiashko while I was 
there ; what is happening there now I do not know. There is in 
actual fact no government in the village at all. 


Pogrom of July 16, 1919 

Yentel Gorstein, of Ushomir, Aged 50 

Gorschik is twelve versts from Ushomir. Last week two boys 
came to Ushomir and said that eight Jews had been killed in 
Gorschik, among them Benjamin Friedlau, an old man, and his 
son-in-law, Avrez Avrum (his last name we do not know), an 


old man, and his son, the two sons of a certain Israel-Ber (his 
last name we do not know), and Idel Glozmann and his son. 
The boys did not tell us the circumstances of the murder of 
these Jews. We knew five of the slain. The relatives of the 
slain sent a cart from Ushomir to Gorschik after the bodies. 
For a long time no one ventured to go. A Russian consented 
to go for the bodies and took 3,000 rubles for it. The cart re- 
turned without the bodies and the driver said that the peasants 
would not surrender the bodies and had buried them in^Gors- 
chik It was said that "Sokolovsky's men" had killed theTjews. 

Besides this, in the Moshkosky glass factory, six or eight 
versts from Ushomir, a man and his wife named Faiermann 
were killed at this time. The dead couple left nine chil- 
dren, three grown and six little ones. Yesterday the bodies of 
the slain were brought to Ushomir by a German of the town, 
and yesterday they were buried by a large company of Jews. It 
is said that they were killed by "Sokolovsky's men." The chil- 
dren tell about the frightful story as follows : The children were 
mowing hay near the forest, when suddenly they noticed some 
mounted armed men. The children cried: "Save yourselves, it 
is the men of Sokolovsky!" The riders rushed out of the 
woods; the family of Faiermann hid. The riders attacked the 
husband and wife and killed them. 

All these murders alarmed the inhabitants of Ushomir. Even 
now reports of the murder of Jews are coming from various 
places. On Friday evening of last week, and on Saturday, the 
peasants of all the surrounding villages collected in Ushomir, 
all armed. There were so many peasants that the whole town 
and village was filled with them. They came from all direc- 
tions. The peasants marched through all the streets. The Jews 
hid in their houses in alarm, but the peasants reassured them, 
saying they had nothing against them, that they were aiming 
only at Iskorost, where the "commune" was established, and 
that they had determined to have a reckoning only with them 
(the Jews of Korosten) ; they asked the Jews of Ushomir to 
join them, enrolled their names, and issued to them some sort 
of "certificate" with a seal, in exchange for ten rubles. In this 
way, they, as it were, attached the Jews of Ushomir to their move- 
ment. We know very well many of the peasants who came in ; 
many old men did it very unwillingly and told us that they were 
under compulsion. The peasants not only did no harm to the 
Jews, but did not even take anything from anyone, or if they 
did they paid for it. On Monday all the peasants went to Koro- 
sten. ... On the same day the peasants in withdrawing passed 


through Ushomir, but this time they ran through side streets; 
many were killed, and we saw no more of the peasants. I must 
observe that when the peasants were in Ushomir they issued 
the above-mentioned "certificates" to all Jews between the ages 
of sixteen and forty, threatening that if anyone refused to 
accept the certificate he would be killed. Thus nobly did the 
peasants deal with us in Ushomir. Among the rebel peasants 
were some of Sokolovsky's men as instructors, with white bands 
on their arms. 

On Monday the peasants left Ushomir. On Tuesday appeared 
a group of five armed men on horseback, who went to the mar- 
ket and began to beat up whatever Jews they met. These horse- 
men at once attracted attention by their inhuman appearance, 
which sharply distinguished them from the peaceful aspect of 
the rebel peasants who had been there before. When the tumult 
started in the market, peasants of the town appeared in the 
market and defended the Jews, asking the "men of Sokolovsky" 
why they had come thither. The horsemen replied that they 
had come to punish the Jews. The peasants then told the horse- 
men that they should not dare to touch a single Jew, since the 
Ushomir Jews were all going along with the peasants, and that 
if a single Jew should be hurt, the peasants would hold the 
horsemen to account for it. The horsemen began to make ex- 
cuses, saying they had come not to kill Jews but to get out the 
bombs which the Petlurists had thrown into the river. Soon 
they disappeared. Confusion and alarm among the Jews in the 
town lasted for some time after these people left. These horse- 
men went from Ushomir in the direction of Gorschik, and there 
perpetrated the murders which I told about. 



I. From Report of Authorised Investigator V. A. Guminer, 
June 24, 1919 

I have returned from Litin, where I learned the situation of 
the devastated city. Litin is a small cantonal capital, thirty 
versts from the station of Vinnitza, with which it is connected 
by a paved highway. Out of a population of 12,000 the Jews 
comprise 4,000, the Ukrainians 5,000, the Great Russians 2,000, 
and the rest (Poles and others) 1,000. Relations between the 
Jewish and non-Jewish inhabitants were excellent. 

The pogrom was wholly unexpected to the Jews of Litin. 


There were cases, as everywhere, but no general appeals 
(to pogroms), and no signs that the Jewish population was 
threatened by any serious danger. On the night before May 
14 a band under the leadership of Shepel burst into the city. 
The band was a small one, of 25 to 50 men. The local garrison 
resisted, but a certain section of it was treacherous. Towards 
morning the Jewish pogrom began. Local inhabitants and also 
peasants from the surrounding villages joined the band. Vodka 
was gotten from somewhere or other, and drunkenness, looting, 
and murders began. In all a hundred people were killed. 

The pogrom was terminated only by the entrance of the de- 
tachment of the Vinnitza Extraordinary Committee, which fired 
on the villages with artillery, but soon departed. The rebels 
again entered Litin, but there was no more looting. One Jew 
was killed; he happened to appear in the streets as the rebels 
were entering the town. After this the rebels attacked Vin- 
nitza unsuccessfully; and Litin was cleared of rebels by the 
International Regiment and the cursants (Soviet military cadets). 

After the departure of the latter a detachment of Soviet 
forces entered the town and put a complete end to the looting of 
the Jewish population. The latter was terrorized after the expe- 
riences of the pogrom. Now it is comparatively peaceful there. 
The commandant was removed, but fled, and is now being 

Litin now looks like a dead city. The stores are all closed. 
Economic life is completely at a standstill. The peasants have 
stopped bringing food into the city. Thus it is hard to get 
bread or anything to eat even for money. In the last few days 
some improvement is noticeable. A few food products are ap- 
pearing. But the peasants demand not money, but produce (salt, 
manufactured articles, etc.). 

On the advice of local people in public life, I applied to a well- 
known woman, a Mrs. Merezel (a Christian). She emphasized 
that there was a special need for food products and for cloth- 
ing, especially linen. When I found what the situation was 
and realized that the children were especially in want, I decided 
in the first days to open a food depot for a hundred children, 
in the style of a kindergarten. 

II. Testimony of G. Zeidis, Gymnasium Student, Aged 18, 
Taken Down by S. Y. Maizlish, July 29, 1919 

Some circles of the Jewish population of Litin took an active 
part in the communist movement. There were many Jews in 
responsible positions under the Soviet. In the region of Litin 


were operating the bands of Shepel, Saranchi, and Karpach, 
who came out against the Soviet regime and spread anti-Semitic 
watchwords, like "Kill the Jews, save Ukraine," etc. 

The first pogrom was perpetrated May 14. Looting was epi- 
demic ; there were 120 killed, about 20 wounded, about 10 women 
violated. After this repeated attacks of the bands occurred, 
almost every week. On July 18 the workers of Yastrev's shoe 
factory from Vinnitza came to the village of Voniaga (three 
versts from Litin) for grain and provisions. The peasants of 
the village offered resistance, drove them out, and burst into 
Litin and killed seven Jews. 


Pogrom of July 11-15, 1919 
Testimony of B. Raber, Taken Down by S. Y. Maizlish, July 29 

The town of Yanov, canton of Vinnitza, is twelve versts from 
the station of Kalinovka. Six or seven hundred Jewish families 
lived in the place. 

On Thursday, July 10, persistent rumors began to spread that 
a large band of pogromists was moving on Yanov. In the town 
was a local armed guard, of young men, which had 38 rifles. 
The local peasants proposed that arms be issued to them, and 
they would resist the insurgents. The weapons were deposited 
at the headquarters of the "Union," and at once there appeared 
about twenty men who seized the rifles, joined the local peasants, 
and began to fire irregularly through the town. One non-Jew 
was accidentally killed. The bandits dragged the body of the 
dead man into a certain Jew's hut, placed it on the bed, and 
spread the report that the Jews had killed him. Meantime a 
numerous band (Shepel's) arrived in the town, and began to 
plunder and kill. 

On Friday, July 11, four people were killed. The Jewish popu- 
lation fled to the fields and woods. The looting and killing 
continued until Tuesday. They killed mercilessly whomever 
they met. On Tuesday they rounded up the surviving Jews, 
about 300 people, into the synagogue, and as usual demanded a 
contribution. They were given 200,000 rubles. After this the 
band began to discuss what was to be done with the assembled 
Jews. A certain Komarenko (a former Soviet commissar) pro- 
posed to kill all Jews between the ages of 13 and 40. The teacher 
Gorchina opposed this suggestion. The former commissar Beba 
proposed to let it go with throwing a few bombs into the syna- 


gogue. But this proposal was also rejected. They were on 
the point of deciding to burn the synagogue^ so that all the 
Jews should perish in the flames. But at that time an aeroplane 
appeared above the town and threw down two bombs. Panic 
arose among the rebels, and they started to leave the place. The 
assembled Jews were saved in this manner. In all 300 were 
killed, including about 30 from Berdechev and about 30 from 

Pogrom of July 10, 1919 
Testimony of Sh. Gronfain 

The village of Obodin is in the canton of Bratzlav ten versts 
from Voronovitzy. There were only three families of Jews 
living in the town. One family, consisting of four people, did 
not succeed in fleeing and was entirely massacred. The wife 
was found with her breasts cut off; a baby of six months had 
its throat cut; and a child of six also was slashed to death. 

As a general proposition the pogromists operated with "cold 
weapons" (not firearms). This is explained simply by the lack of 
cartridges. Cartridges cost fifty rubles. 

Pogrom of July 10, 1919 

Testimony of Sh. Gronfain* Aged 24, a Refugee from Vorono- 
vitzy; Taken Down by S. Y. Maizlish, July 28 

The town of Voronovitzy is in the canton of Bratzlav, gov- 
ernment of Podolia, and is on the railroad (narrow-gauge line) 
Vinnitza-Gaisin, forty versts from Bratzlav. There are about 
300 Jewish families in the town. 

The rebel movement in the region of Voronovitzy began in 
May, and the leaders of the rebels were former Petlurist offi- 
cers, such as Bilinchuk (a native of Voronovitzy, a gymnasium 
student of the 8th class), Sibranchuk (was a commandant, with 
the rank of colonel, under the Directory), Gorban, father and 
son, Ponomarchuk, and others. The persons enumerated agi- 
tated among the local peasants against the Soviet regime, using 
the watchwords of the Ukrainian nationalists. Bilinchuk after- 
wards went to Bratzlav, where an agent of the Extraordinary 
Committee recognized him and arrested him. He was shot. 


On May 9 a band of rebels came to Voronovitzy and at once 
began looting. This lasted two or three days. One Jew was 
killed. On the following day they were about to start a massa- 
cre of the whole Jewish population, but thanks to the inter- 
vention of a certain Kudren (a former Petlurist) and the ap- 
proach of Soviet forces from Vinnitza, it was not carried out. 
The band withdrew, and the 8th Soviet regiment entered the 
town. This regiment did considerable looting on May 13. 

The pogrom which occurred on July 10 may be described as 
follows. A band started to approach Voronovitzy along the 
railroad. It proved impossible to get a clear idea of the nature 
of this band. According to some they were "Grigorievists" ; 
others said they were going to the Rumanian front, to join the 
Allies. On Wednesday, July 9, the band arrived at the station 
of Gumennoie, eight versts from Voronovitzy. Here three 
bandits stopped a train, drove all Jews out of the cars, robbed 
. some of them, beat some with rods, and killed two (one of them 
a Jew). Some of the passengers were released, receiving from 
the bandits some sort of documents; others fled; while some 
the rebels took along with them, and what happened to them is 
unknown. Among those who were detained were many women. 
Some women were violated on the spot. On the way to Voro- 
novitzy the gang killed many Jews whom they met, and many of 
the bodies were afterwards discovered. On Thursday, July 10, 
five members of the gang (the rest remained outside of the 
city) entered the town and in the course of something like two 
hours killed twelve people (six in the town itself, six outside), 
and did some looting. Among the Jews, of course, a panic arose, 
and they all hid. But at this time Soviet forces, attacking from 
the direction of Vinnitza, began to fire on the town, and the band 

I. Testimony of Bogdansky, July 25, 1919 

Trostianetz is a town in the government of Podolia, on the 
railroad, about 50 versts to the southwest of Gaisin. The 
Jewish population is about 500 families. There are almost no 
Christians ; they live in the country outside. The pogrom move- 
ment began on May 1 and lasted until the 17th. The principal 
butchery was on May 10. The pogrom was perpetrated by local 
peasants with the watchword "Kill the Jews, away with the 
commune." The organizers of the pogrom were persons known 
as sympathizers with the Ukrainian nationalist movement: the 


student Gonzenko and the former Petlurist officer Drevinsky. 
They rang the signal bell, the peasants collected and the pil- 
laging began. In the commissariat's quarters about four hun- 
dred Jews were herded together all of the male sex, beginning 
with boys of ten and ending with decrepit old men. Drevinsky 
energetically spread the rumor that Jews from surrounding 
towns were approaching in armored automobiles, and that in 
one village they had already massacred all the Christians. "If 
we simply keep still, they will massacre all of us, too." Then 
the peasants rushed to the quarters of the commissariat and 
began to throw bombs through the windows and to fire from 
rifles. Since the Jews who were there threw themselves flat 
on the floor, the peasants then rushed in and massacred them 
all. This butchery was perpetrated on Saturday, May 10, at 
6 P.M. ; but on the night before an enormous grave had already 
been dug outside the city. All the bodies were carried there in 
carts and dumped into the pit. About eighty corpses were car- 
ried out from the dwellings. The total number of the dead 
was as many as 400, among them 13 women. The murders 
continued until ten o'clock in the morning; but on the next day 
only pillaging and general devastation took place. 

II. Note of Report, and Certain Materials Regarding the Hor- 
rors of the Atrocious Massacre in the Town of Tros- 
tianetz, Government of Podolia, Canton of Bratzlav, 
Perpetrated upon the Associates of the Trostianetz Revo- 
lutionary Committee, on May 9 and 10, 1919. By the 
Secretary, D. Monastyrsky; the Director of the Department 
of Labor, I. Safro; and the Secretary of the Department of 
Manufactures, G. Monastyrsky. 

The Period of the Soviet Rule in the Town of Trostianetz; the 
Make-up of the Revolutionary Committee and Its Activities 

(a) Towards the end of March of this year, when the region 
of Trostianetz had been cleared of Petlurists, there arrived two 
instructors in the method of organization of local governments, 
comrades Izarov and Mogilevsky. Finding no party organiza- 
tion, the instructors upon their arrival called a meeting and 
named five men to constitute the Military and Revolutionary 
Committee of the district (volost} of Trostianetz: 

(b) Yegorov, President (assistant to a distiller), and Saulov 
(instructor of the co-operative union), Russians; Domalchinsky 
(assistant mechanician in a mill) and Ditkovsky (commercial 
agent of the co-operative union, afterwards arrested for specula- 
tion), Poles; and D. Monastyrsky, Secretary (a Jew who had 


recently returned from America). The same instructors also 
named as commandant Kolesnikov, who had by chance just come 
from the military commissariat after grain ; after some time the 
military committee of the canton named him cantonal military 
commissar and commandant of the district (volost) ; finally he 
was arrested in Vinnitza by the military commission of the 
government of Podolia, charged with being drunk and disor- 
derly. They also named as adjutant Orlov (a former Petlurist 
officer, afterwards political commissar of the district), and as 
assistant to the commissar of the district V. Marinevich (a 
drunkard without any political past). 

(c) The activity of the Revolutionary Committee of Tros- 
tianetz throughout the entire period of its existence, from April 
3 to May 9, was limited to the organization of a commandant's 
company (of soldiers), and of Committees of the Poor, and to 
the collection of contributions and requisitions of products from 
the Jewish population exclusively; even to this day they have 
not received a penny in return. Both the contributions and 
requisitions of produce, and purchases at arbitrarily fixed prices, 
were practised only on the Jewish population. In spite of the 
existence of a Department of Labor under the Revolutionary 
Committee, there were taken into public posts without the 
knowledge of the Department of Labor people of counter-revo- 
lutionary tendencies, who afterwards took part in the uprising 
and the massacre. 

Relations to the Soviet Rule of the Workmen of the Local Sugar 
Factory of Trostianetz and Their Workmen's Committees 
The workmen of the sugar factory were mostly counter-revo- 
lutionaries. They were guided by members of the old adminis- 
tration of the factory, who got into the factory committee. All 
the time they kept apart and expressed complete indifference and 
even antagonism to the Soviet regime. Many of them took 
direct or indirect part in the uprising and the pogroms. When 
a protest meeting was held once, not a single one of these work- 
men participated. 

The Rebel Movement in Our Region, May 1-17, and the Fall of 

the Soviet Regime in Our District (Volost), May 9 
When the authorities of the canton of Bratzlav went with 
their military forces to put down the rebel uprising in the 
neighboring canton of Gaisin, the rebels of the canton of Bratz- 
lav took Bratzlav and perpetrated a massacre. After Bratzlav 
Tulchin also fell. Being cut off from every center and not 
having any forces that could be relied upon, since the Red-army 


cavalry detachment was formed of former Petlurist and Het- 
manist militia, and learning that a rebellion was already being 
prepared throughout the district, the military commissar Koles- 
nikov, together with the members of the Revolutionary Com- 
mittee, decided on the night of May 8 to evacuate the town, and 
left in the direction of Ladyzhin to join the forces of the canton 
of Bratzlav which were reported to be near Gaisin. When they 
departed, the Red-army cavalry detachment refused to go along, 
and broke up. When they had gone several versts in the direc- 
tion named, the Trostianetz military forces for some reason or 
other decided to turn back (Marinevich especially insisted on 
this), and, in spite of the protests of some of their associates, 
this was done. When they got back and found that the rebels 
were already at hand, Commissar Kolesnikov summoned by ex- 
traordinary summons from the station of Voprianka a locomo- 
tive with six cars, to leave the place. 

By 11 A.M. all the members of the Revolutionary Committee 
had disappeared somewhere or other. The military and political 
commissars also disappeared, without waiting for the arrival 
of the train. At 12 noon Marinevich, the assistant commissar of 
the district, rushed into the commissariat and insisted that his 
salary should be paid. When he received the money he ran out, 
crying : "It's all up, save yourselves," and started for the station. 
Running out on the streets we were overwhelmed by the sound 
of the signal bells of the surrounding churches, and we saw 
the armed rebels approaching. Being left without a government 
and without command, the Red soldiers also fled by various 
routes to the station, where under the fire of the rebels, who 
were hurrying up, fifty Red soldiers and three associates of the 
Revolutionary Committee got into a car and left for Voprianka. 
On the way, before we got to the station of Kirnasovka, we 
were fired upon at two places, and three of our comrades were 
wounded. At the station of Voprianka we found the military 
and political commissars, Kolesnikov and Orlov, and at their 
direction we all went to Vinnitza. 

The Massacre and Pogrom. From Report of two Eye-witnesses 
of the Massacre, who went to Kiev as Representatives of 
more than 900 Widows and Orphans: former Lieutenant 
Sandier and Comrade Bogdansky. 

After the train left with the Red soldiers, the usual pogrom 
scene was enacted in the city. Under the deafening noise of 
the signal bells, bands of peasants and rebels with weapons of 


all sorts ran in from all sides, making the air ring with cries of 
"Kill the Jews, destroy the commune." They maltreated and 
beat up every Jew they met. After a little time they began to 
drag all the men and boy-children out of the houses, and, beat- 
ing them unmercifully, took them off, either, as some said, to be 
registered, or, as others said, to be arrested and shot. By 
evening all the men had been caught and locked up in a two- 
story building of the former Commissariat, under guard of 
armed bandits. A fearful night ensued for the town, left with- 
out men. The bandits carried on terribly, looting, killing, and 
violating women. In this night eighteen people were killed, in- 
cluding two women. The bacchanalia did not stop the next 
morning, May 10. On the contrary, the looting activities of the 
bandits in the place increased. It is hardly possible to describe 
what the women experienced, when they found out at this same 
time that outside the town, by a reservoir where the refuse of 
the factory was thrown out, the bandits for some reason had 
already dug a great trench of military style, thirty-five arshins 
long. No one was any longer permitted on the street leading to 
the station, and none of the women had the slightest informa- 
tion as to what was going on at the Commissariat with the 
whole mass of Jews herded in there. Although the grave dug 
in advance bore clear testimony to the fact that the fate of the 
martyrs had been decided in the morning, nevertheless the 
monarchists and counter-revolutionaries -of all styles summoned 
an assembly at two o'clock in the town hall under the presidency 
of Belousov. The question "what to do with the Jews" was 
brought up. The opinions were various. The majority of the 
assembly was against the mass execution of all the Jews. Sud- 
denly there rushed up on horseback a hangman who played the 
deciding role in this tragedy a certain Drevinsky, who had 
then been declared commandant of the rebels, a former Petlurist 
officer. He shouted: "Brothers, to the harness, quickly! The 
Jews from Obodovka and Verkhovka are coming up behind us 
in armored automobiles. Run and finish up the Jews once for 
all." With wild cries of "Brothers, kill the Jews," the savage 
mob rushed headlong to the building of the Commissariat, sur- 
rounded it, and began firing through the windows, and throwing 
in bombs and hand grenades. Frantic cries and groans rent the 
air. The grenades flew, and with them were torn and mangled 
the bodies of over 400 men and boys, mad with horror and 
anguish. Someone shouted the bloody watchword, "Don't leave 
them alive, blot them out" being sure that such a crowd could 
not so easily and quickly be done to death. So they broke into 


the building of the Commissariat and with knives, bayonets, axes, 
and other weapons completed their vile work. Long continued 
the wild, bloody dance of death. Here were torments and tor- 
tures such as the world had never seen. The victims swam in 
rivers of their own blood. Here in inconceivable anguish fathers 
with their only sons or with three or five sons breathed their 
last. Here fresh youths perished in their fathers' arms. Thus 
from 5 till 10 P.M. on May 11 the unhappy wretches were 
totally destroyed. The fragments of the four hundred bodies 
were gathered up and thrown into the ditch which had been 
prepared before. Next morning the hooligans quickly formed 
a detachment out of their own midst, which would not allow 
any of the women to leave the houses. Cries, wails, and hysteri- 
cal laments shook the air day and night for a whole week, until 
the following Saturday, May 17. Under the organized guard of 
bandits, peasant women carried off the remnants of the Jews' 
property and provisions, to the sound of the tocsin bells, which 
did not cease all the week. At the end of the week, when a Red 
army detachment arrived, the bandits of the district of Tros- 
tianetz had already succeeded in settling with the other neigh- 
boring towns of Obodovka, Verkhovka, and Voprianka, and 
exhibited in battle array a force armed with rifles, machine 
guns, etc. 

At the present time the widows and orphans, amounting to 
almost 900 souls, naked, hungry, penniless, defenseless, and dis- 
honored, are cowering in their terrible anguish and sending their 
curses at the whole world. The bandits have not even yet been 
caught or disarmed ; they strut about the town and express their 
hostility to the widows and orphans who remain alive. 

Result of Our Application for Help to the Soviet of the Gov- 
ernment of Podolia, and to the Military and Party Institu- 
tions of the city of Vinnitsa* 

When we arrived at Vinnitza and made known all the above- 
described facts to all the public institutions, the best answer we 
could get was always: "At present we are powerless to do any- 
thing, we have no genuine power; wait, wait" When the 
cantonal capital Bratzlav was again taken by a Soviet detach- 
ment, Red soldiers from Bratzlav, Tulchin, and Trostianetz went 
thither to do guard duty. Some time later our military com- 
missar, Kolesnikov, again arrived in Vinnitza with an urgent 
request for machine guns and troops. But there he was arrested 
by the military committee of the government, charged with 


being drunk and disorderly. In spite of our demands that he be 
immediately replaced with another, since the lack of a com- 
manding officer would threaten to wipe off the face of the earth 
the widows and orphans who still remained alive, the military 
committee of the government has as yet taken no steps. This i 
why we have come to Kiev and have presented this report to 
the proper authorities, with the request and demand, in the name 
of the still living widows and orphans: 

(1) That there be immediately dispatched to the town of 
Trostianetz a Commission of Investigation, into the composition 
of which should enter representatives of the military authorities, 
the revolutionary tribunal, and the communist parties; and 
which shall discover and punish the counter-revolutionaries and 
participants in the rebellion and massacre who are even yet en- 
joying complete liberty. This is possible only if there is sent 
into the district of Trostianetz a reliable Red-army detachment, 
with about 16 machine guns, and other firearms, to disarm the 
peasants and bandits that are still in arms. (2) That extraor- 
dinary measures be immediately adopted leading to the social 
welfare of the widows and orphans, more than nine hundred of 
whom have already been registered. They are stripped bare, 
plundered, left literally without a piece of bread. They must 
be furnished with provisions, clothing, medicines, and financial 
means. (3) That a responsible government be immediately or- 
ganized in the canton and district. 

The Secretary of the Trostianetz Military Revolutionary Com- 

The Director of the Department of Labor, 


The Secretary of the Department of Manufactures, 


The President of the temporary Soviet of the Town of Tros- 


The Secretary, M. BOGDANSKY. 
Kiev, May 30, 1919. 

III. Report of S. Kulikova 

I submit herewith a list of the slain, and of the widows and 
orphans left without any means of subsistence, in the town of 
Trostianetz, to which I was sent to bring first aid to the victims 
of the pogrom and the counter-revolution. 

After the massacre which was experienced, and which cost 


the town of Trostianetz several hundred victims and all its 
property and wealth, there appeared even more horrible factors, 
which completed the job of devastation and destruction of the 
town with inexorable consequence and swiftness. 

Famine appeared as a result of the crisis in provisions, which 
had existed before the massacre and was now made much more 
severe by the fact that the peasants, after the horrible slaughter, 
refused to send bread and other provisions to the population. 
The few score of men who have remained alive find nothing 
to do, because of the lack of any work and the present stagnation 
of trade. Still more helpless to get a livelihood for themselves 
are the widowed women, left with various numbers of small 
children, many having three, four, five, and some as many as 
ten or even more. 

But to complete the horror and to make full the cup of bit- 
terness for the people of the town, diseases have appeared; 
abdominal diseases, famine typhus, and others. Medicines and 
medical aid are lacking, and a local apothecary has fled from 
town because he was an instigator of the pogrom; so that the 
town is threatened with the most extreme miseries and with 
absolute annihilation. 

From all that I have seen, I have come to the conclusion that 
without aid of the broadest character, on a national scale, 
nothing can be accomplished. The life of the town must be 
renewed, or the place is fated for complete ruin. It is impera- 
tive that there be sent to the Committee now existing in the 
town an appropriation of money and material aid in medicines, 
clothing, and shoes. Help must be given now, before it is too 

I report that I arrived in Trostianetz, government of Podolia, 
on June 10, and found organized a Jewish Committee of aid to 
victims of the pogrom, a branch of the Central Committee lo- 
cated in Kiev, a private organization. They have received from 
the Kiev Committee during the entire period a subsidy of 10,000 
rubles for the pogrom victims. When I learned of this I in- 
formed the Committee that as a private organization this Kiev 
Committee had just been terminated, and that everything had 
now been handed over to the management of the People's Com- 
missariat of Social Welfare. I therefore proposed that the 
Committee wait for our instructions and that it should no longer 
be guided by the instructions which it received from the Kiev 
private organization. At the suggestion of the representative 
of the People's Commissariat of Internal Affairs, two of his 
associates, Comrades Dmitry Serebriakov and Dudkin, and the 


representative of the V. U. Executive Committee, Peter Krushev- 
sky, decreed that 20,000 rubles, which had been destined for the 1 
relief of the victims of the pogrom, should be mutually requi- 
sitioned from me for the commandant of the town of Trostianetz 
to pay the salaries of Red soldiers and to pay for their rationing. 
The commandant of the town promised on the requisition-docu- 
ment to pay the amount over to the Committee for Relief to the 
Pogrom Victims, either in produce or in cash. On the insistence 
of Comrade Serebriakov, who threatened me with arrest and 
execution, I surrendered 20,000 rubles, for which I have in my 
possession a document absolving me from all responsibility, with 
the signature and seal of the commandant of the town of Tros- 
tianetz, certifying to all this. The requisition-document I gave 
to the committee for furnishing relief to the victims. I here- 
with attach the document absolving me from blame for sur- 
rendering this money, amounting to 20,000 rubles, appropriated 
for the town of Trostianetz. I surrendered the money on June 
17, 1919. I arrived in Kiev on June 20. 

I beg that attention be paid to the question as to who led and 
instigated the pogrom and massacre in the town of Trostianetz, 
canton of Bratzlav, government of Podolia. This was done by 
certain medical personages. Notwithstanding the fact that all 
the world recognizes the neutrality of medical personages, never- 
theless they made use of their cloak of neutrality to perform 
miracles and start a "holy war." The first of them was a 
provincial doctor, the Pole Scherbinsky; the second a pharma- 
cist, owner of a drugstore, the Pole Klinke, and his wife, also a 
Polish woman. Also a surgeon, whose name I do not remember. 
The military leaders were Polish officers, Korshenitzky and 
Paketinov. I hold photographs of these murderers. The initia- 
tors of all these pogroms and massacres were Polish catholic 
priests and orthodox clergy. Their watchword was "Kill the 
Jews, save the church." It was these who inspired the detach- 
ments of Zeleny and the rebel peasants. 

I beg that attention be paid to the city of Bratzlav, government 
of Podolia, which does very little to look after its canton. Ele- 
ments that are not friendly to us are located there, and they 
simply upset the work. The organization is bad. Instructors 
and organizers are necessary, and also a large amount of litera- 
ture on the land question; medicines are also necessary, on ac- 
count of the epidemic of typhus and other diseases, and money. 

To the preceding statement I may add that the money, amount- 
ing to 20,000 rubles, taken from me by mutual requisition by 
the commandant of Trostianetz, was only partly returned by the 


commandant in the course of two weeks, in the shape of produce 
worth about 5,000 rubles for the Committee on relief to the 
victims of the pogrom and counter-revolution. But that, of 
course, is only a drop in the bucket. Then, the commandant of 
Trostianetz promised me to release also a large quantity of 
sugar, of which he has a large amount, inasmuch as there is a 
sugar factory there. The commandant requisitioned that sugar, 
but did not share it with the Committee. And so yesterday 
representatives from the town of Trostianetz again arrived and 
informed me that sugar was not being furnished, nor other 
produce either. These were only the words of the Comrade 
Commandant, who has not fulfilled his promises. I beg that 
you adopt a resolution for the appropriation of medicines for 
the town of Trostianetz, whose population has suffered from 
this pogrom. I herewith append a demand for medicines with 
the signature and seal of a physician of the town of Trostianetz. 
I beg that attention be paid to the town of Obodovka, canton 
of Bratzlav, which is under the military command of the town 
of Trostianetz. Early in June representatives of the town of 
Obodovka came to me and asked me to communicate the fol- 
lowing to the People's Commissariat of Social Security: first, 
that the pogrom-wave reached them also when it spread over 
the whole canton of Bratzlav, and that of the Jewish inhabitants 
270 families were completely annihilated; 161 men were left 
alive. The members of these families entreat immediate relief, 
since the same horrors have come to them as to many other 
unhappy towns. I beg that you adopt a resolution regarding 
an advance of money to the town of Obodovka, canton of 



I. Report to the United Central Commission for Relief to the 
Victims of the Counter-Revolution and of Jewish Pogroms. 
From Z. Fitermann, Member of the City Executive Com- 
mittee of Balta. 

The city of Balta, government of Podolia, in the course of 
two months and more, beginning with February 2 and ending 
with April 6, suffered an unintermittent pogrom and terror, 
perpetrated by Petlurist detachments (the "Yanivsky Zachil" 
under the leadership of Ataman Koschuk, and others). During 
this time engagements between the bolshevist guerrilla detach- 


ment of Comrade Diachishkin and Ukrainian units took place 
in the city. And every time, when the Gaidamaks con- 
quered, the matter ended with a Jewish pogrom. There were 
three such pogroms, with a total number of victims of about 
100, exclusively Jews; about 35 houses were set on fire with 
inflammatory bombs, about 120 women were violated (among 
them an old woman of 70; one girl died on the next day from 
the horrors of her experience, and many are even yet suffering 
from venereal diseases). Almost all the Jewish houses and 
apartments were stripped bare, and the shops destroyed, every 
single one. Even the very poorest Jewish districts of the city 
were not spared the pogrom, nor the very smallest shops. The 
Gaidamaks carried away from the city the whole printing shop 
of Sh. Dorf, and the large machine shop of Kh. Schatz and I. 
Usakovsky. Most of all to suffer were the laboring and poor- 
est part of the Jewish population, as is usual. Among the vic- 
tims there were only three or four representatives of the Jewish 
bourgeoisie; the rest are representatives of the intellectuals, the 
poor, and the laborers, namely the elements which in the mo- 
ment of danger would not or could not (for material reasons) 
leave the town. 


Kiev, May 10, 1919. 

At a session of the Central Commission for aid to the victims 
of the counter-revolution, held May 9, 1919, this report was 
heard, and it was voted, henceforth, until the presentation of an 
estimate, to appropriate 1,000,000 rubles for the Balta Commis- 
sion for aid to the victims of the counter-revolution. 

The Secretary (Signature). 

May 11, 1919. 

II. From the (newspaper) "Com. Fon." No. 62, of Aug. 
13, 1919 

The city experienced two pogroms. The first was organized 
by Petlurist bands, which systematically kept attacking the city 
in the course of eight weeks. The second pogrom occurred early 
in April, just before the entrance of the Soviet forces. In the 
last pogrom 120 people were killed. Ninety per cent of the 
slain belonged to the Jewish poor classes. The city was en- 
tirely devastated. Two hundred Jewish families suffered se- 
verely from the pogrom. 


Testimony of I. Hammermann, Taken Down by Maislish, July 29 

The town of Brailov is eight versts from Zhmerinka. About 
three weeks ago the Taraschan regiment entered the town. 
Twenty-five people were killed. After a few days the town 
was occupied by Petlurist forces. Twenty-eight were killed 
(mostly young men). The whole place was devastated. 

Pogroms of March 9 and July 14, 1919 

Testimony of B. Barinstein, Taken Down by S. Y. Maizlish, 

July 28 

The town of Kalinovka, canton of Vinnitza, counting about 
500 Jewish families, is on the railroad line Kasatin-Zhmerinka, 
20 versts from Vinnitza. The station of Kalinovka is a transfer 
point from the broad-guage to the narrow-guage railroad. Con- 
sequently squadrons of troops, operating in this region or pass- 
ing through, are always being concentrated at the station. At 
each concentration the men "take a stroll" through the town, 
which is three versts away, and always leave very noticeable 

The Jewish population of Kalinovka, generally speaking, lived 
in concord with the rest of the people of the town and sur- 
rounding country. But when with the establishment of the 
Soviet regime two Jewish members entered into the Revolution- 
ary Committee, the non-Jews protested and would not work 
with them for any consideration. The admonitions of the com- 
missar who arrived in Kalinovka did no good; The Jewish 
members of the Revolutionary Committee had to withdraw. 
The Jews formed a separate "Committee of the Poor," in which 
the Jewish poor folk exclusively were concentrated. 

The first pogrom in Kalinovka was perpetrated March 9, on 
the departure of the Directory troops. After almost all the 
units had departed from the station, about forty or fifty Pet- 
lurists burst into the town, plundered all the stores and shops, 
and set on fire many apartments and houses, among them the 
house of the local Rabbi. Ten Jews were killed. 

The first days after the entrance of the Soviet forces were 
quiet. But later the 9th Soviet regiment arrived, which com- 


mitted considerable looting, during which one Jewish militiaman 
was killed. After this repeated onslaughts occurred of passing 
squadrons and individual soldiers, who seized provisions and 
valuable articles. 

At the beginning of July an insurgent movement began among 
the peasants of this region. On July 13 there was already dis- 
quiet in the town. On this day some Soviet military units 
arrived to fight the bands of rebels. On the way the Soviet 
forces plundered some of the Jewish inhabitants. 

On the 14th some bands burst into the place. They remained 
there only a few hours, but found time to devastate the Jewish 
population and kill seven or eight people. The local residents 
also took part in the looting of Jewish stores. 


Pogrom of May 12, 1919 
Testimony of Moisei Spielberg 

Approximately in March the Petlurists departed, and the 7th 
Soviet regiment came in. The pogrom was perpetrated by the 
band of Volynetz. He himself came from that region, from the 
village of Karlovka. He was a young peasant aged about 23; 
was formerly a clerk in the forestry service. His band con- 
sisted of about four or five hundred men; it was accompanied 
by a great crowd of peasants, in all nearly 1,500 men. The 
garrison consisted of 80 Christian Red soldiers and communists, 
and about 200 Jewish lads, aged from 18 to 20, who didn't know 
anything about handling a gun. They could not hold back the 
attack; many of them were killed. The band burst into the 
town and from 6 A.M. to 2 P.M. kept killing all Jews. In all 
340 people were killed. They stole principally money and articles 
of value. Very few household goods were stolen, so that the 
homes did not suffer much. They took some edibles, but very 
little clothing. 

The band remained in Gaisin. The peasants came together 
from the villages, and elected a Revolutionary Committee for 
the whole canton, of 73 men, of whom 13 came from Gaisin 
itself. The attitude to the Soviet regime was hostile. After 
3 P.M. the Russian intellectuals sent a deputation to the head- 
quarters to ask that there be no more killing. In the gymnasium 
building almost 1,500 Jews were gathered; they wanted to shoot 
them all, but thanks to the insistence of the intellectuals, they 
were released. 


About eight days later the 8th Soviet regiment arrived. The 
band departed and then the regiment began to loot almost ex- 
clusively Jews; but they did not kill anyone, except Petlurists. 
They remained eight or nine days, and Volynetz appeared again 
(at this time his capital was in the village of Monastyrische) ; 
this time he did not kill Jews (he said he saw by this time that 
the Jews were not interfering in politics), but levied a contri- 
bution. There was some looting also. The 1st Soviet regiment 
arrived, and Volynetz again departed (early in June). The regi- 
ment remained three weeks; all the time drunkenness and loot- 
ing were rife. The Jews were referred to only as "Zhidy" ; and 
Christian communists were killed. The commander of the regi- 
ment was a student, a man of good intentions, but could not 
control his soldiers. Once he himself shot a soldier who was 
intending to violate a Jewish girl. The soldiers went from 
house to house, looting and destroying. On June 27 the regi- 
ment departed, and on the next day Volynetz came in again (he 
was waiting in Ternovka, and telephoned to the commander: 
"You leave, and I will arrive"). Some of the people, among 
them the narrator, immediately fled from the town. For the 
most part those who were slain were the young men, but also 
not a few older ones, and even women, were killed. 

Gaisin is located not far from the boundary of the government 
of Kiev, about 60 versts from Uman. It has about 24,000 in- 
habitants, of whom about half are Jews. 


Pogrom of July 3, 1919 
Testimony of I. Hammermann, Taken Down by Maizlish, July 29 

From the end of June Zhmerinka kept passing from one con- 
trol to another. The first time when it was taken by Petlurists, 
nothing worse than looting occurred. The second time, July 3, 
the whole town was devastated and eight Jews were killed. 
Many Jews were killed in the neighboring towns. Also 28 rail- 
way workmen were shot. 


Pogrom of June, 1919 

Testimony of V. Raber, Taken Down July 28, 1919 
The town of Khmelnik is in the canton of Litin. On Friday 


five or six weeks ago Shepel's band was operating in the region 
of Khmelnik. They levied a contribution of 400,000 rubles, and 
took many provisions and 300 pairs of shoes. There were eight 


Pogrom of July 10 
Testimony of Sh. Gronfain 

In the village of Shenderov, seven versts from Voronovitzy, 
canton of Bratzlav, in which live three Jewish families all told, 
the pogrom was perpetrated by the same band which was in 
Voronovitzy. About 20,000 rubles' worth was stolen, and two 
women were cruelly beaten and wounded. 


Pogrom of July, 1919 
Testimony of B. Z. Rabinovich 

The Jews of Teplik knew that an attack on the town was 
being prepared by the rebels, and applied to the local militia for 
co-operation. The first attack of the rebels was repulsed by the 
militia, which killed three of the attacking party. The rebels 
attacked a second time with larger forces, and killed fifteen 
militiamen and six Jews. 

From (the newspaper} "Com. Fon." No. 62 

On May 18 six hundred peasants from neighboring villages 
burst into the town under the leadership of a local bully. For 
thirteen hours the bandits continued to kill, loot and destroy in 
the most atrocious fashion, exclusively in the quarters where 
the poorest part of the Jewish population lived. After the po- 
grom some inhabitants of the town fled in the direction of 
Odessa. On the way, at the station Ivanovka, they were met by 
a band of Grigorievists and all of them were killed. In all 120 
people were killed. 


("Com. Fon." No. 62) 

Early in June a band burst into the town under the leader- 
ship of Kozakov. Ninety-five people were killed. Almost the 
whole town was plundered. The population is fleeing in all 

("Com. Fon.," No. 62) 

The pogrom occurred on May 10. It was organized by ban- 
dits who came from Odessa and by peasants of the neighboring 
villages. There were 258 people killed, 150 wounded, and 400 
families broken up.